police violence clippings

Road blockade hits life in Assam

Guwahati: Normal life in Assam was hit on Monday as trucks and other commercial vehicles went off the roads in response to a 12-hour “chakka jam” programme.

The “chakka jam” call was issued by the State unit of the All-India Road Transport Workers’ Federation to protest the killing of a truck driver and a helper at Lokhra Chariali here on Thursday night, allegedly by a Personal Security Officer (PSO) of the Superintendent of Police (CID).

Even as the protest was on, another incident of alleged police highhandedness was reported. A 64-year-old resident of Dhola, under the Mangaldoi sub-division in northern Assam’s Darrang district, was allegedly beaten to death by the police on Saturday night after he expressed inability to pay the money they demanded to close a petty crime case.

The government announced an ex gratia of Rs.3 lakh to next of kin of all the three victims.

Environment and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain informed the Assembly that the government had suspended SP (CID) Mridualananda Sarma and arrested PSO Godadhor Rai in connection with the killing of the truck driver and helper. The government had also ordered a probe by Principal Secretary, Transport, Alok Kumar.

Police said Rai fired 30 rounds from his AK-47 rifle killing on the spot the driver hailing from Tripura. The helper hailing from Meghalaya died at the hospital.

The PSO chased the truck on a motorbike after it hit the SP (CID)’s vehicle near the National Games village here. He later surrendered at the Basistha police station and was arrested.

DPP gets Maun police killing docket

Police have completed investigations into the fatal shooting of a Maun man early this year.

Mothusi Sephiri of Sanyedi Ward in Maun was shot dead by a police patrol team, investigating a street robbery. Apparently, he was not the person the police were looking for in connection with the cellphone robbery.Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police (Operations), Mathews Letsholo told Mmegi that they forwarded a docket of the case to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) at the end of last month.  Letsholo said DPP will determine the next course of action.

The DPP can order a prosecution of the perpetrators or call an inquest.Sephiri’s relatives insist that he was killed in cold blood.  He was working in Francistown and had visited his family in Maun for the Christmas holidays. He had just left the family yard to inform one of his maternal relatives about his pending trip to Francistown. But he never reached his destination.

Family members, said, Sephiri was shot without any provocation. They said the police dragged him into the family yard and shot him. Even after the killing, they said the police never apologised. The father, Sephiri Sephiri said his son was not a criminal nor a trouble-maker.

The police gave the family P5,000 to cover funeral costs. But they were told that this does not mean that the law enforcement officers were taking responsibility for the death.Members of the Sephiri family say they are never briefed by the police on the progress of the case.

Mothusi’s brother, Eratang Sephiri said the family has been traumatised by the tragic incident.  He does not know why the people, who are supposed to protect them took the life of their sibling. Like his father, Eratang said Mothusi was not someone who would pick up fights. He did not even drink. Mothusi Sephiri has become one of the statistics of security agents’ brutality.  Eight people have been shot in extra-judicial killings since last year, causing a public out cry.

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