HC On Trail Of Missing Man, Seeks Reply

IMPHAL, Mar 3: A Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court has issued a ruling today asking the Government lawyers concerned to get replies from authorities including Secretaries of Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Home Affairs on the disappearance of Longjam Suresh (32) of Top Siphai Mayai Leikai after he was picked up by suspected army personnel on February 18.

The Division Bench headed by Justices TNK Singh and Mutum BK Singh instructed that the replies should be submitted in the form of affidavits before the Court on March 11.

Longjam Suresh (32) of Top Siphai Mayai Leikai village in Imphal West and Ch Manglem of the same locality were apprehended on the night of February 18 from their respective houses by suspected army men who came in two jeeps.

Even as Manglem, who is a volley ball referee, was freed on February 20, the whereabouts of Suresh cannot be traced till date.

Suresh is a small scale dairy farmer and he has nothing to do with any underground organizations, said the petition filed by his father Longjam Mangi.

After hearing the case, the Court also asked the Officer-in-Charge of Wangoi police station to appear before the Court with the case diary of the incident at the next hearing which has been scheduled on March 11.

Advocate K Rabei, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, said the suspected troops in military uniform, without saying or explaining anything, picked up Suresh while he was sleeping.

Fervent appeals of the worried parents of Suresh to explain the reason behind his apprehension and their appeal to issue an arrest memo all fell on deaf ears.

The next morning, it came to light that the same team suspected to be army men apprehended Manglem too.

However, Manglem was freed on the night of February 20.

It was reported that Manglem had no idea about Suresh’s arrest and his whereabouts as he was blindfolded and kept in an isolated place by his captors.

Worried Suresh’s family lodged a complaint on the matter at Wangoi police station and subsequently, Wangoi Police registered an FIR case under section 365/34 of the IPC, advocate K Rabei said.

The worried family and the local people Top Siphai Mayai Leikai have also pleaded before Governor Gurbachan Jagat and Chief Minister Okram Ibobi on February 22 to intervene into the matter and ensure safe release of Suresh.

The respondents listed in the habeas corpus petition include Secretaries of Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Home Affairs, GOC 57 Mountain Division, IG AR (South) , 12 Maratha Light Infantry’s Commandant, Manipur Director General of Police and State Home Commissioner.

Incidentally, over 30 persons including students have disappeared after being picked up by security forces since the infamous Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was imposed across the State in September 1980.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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