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UG Suspect Dies In Police Custody

IMPHAL, May 8: A suspected PREPAK cadre arrested by Imphal East police commandos has died in police custody.

Thokchom Ranjit (48) of Itham Nungoi under Lamlai police station was pulled up by a commando team led by one SI RK Brojen from his home at about 1.20 this morning.

He was brought to JNIMS Hospital at about 10 am. Police reportedly informed the family that Ranjit died due to some ‘mistake’ on their part.

In connection with the custodial death case one Sub-Inspector of police and five other police personnel have reportedly been placed under suspension pending an enquiry.

A senior police officer speaking on condition of anonymity said Ranjit was picked up for verification as he was suspected to be still having nexus with the armed outfit.

As his health condition deteriorated Ranjit was rushed to the Hospital but failed to respond to treatment, the officer maintained.

It is informed that Ranjit was also arrested some 3/4 months back by the same SI namely Brojen when he was posted at Sekta.

At that time, one Naoba of Ranjit’s locality negotiated and succeeded in persuading the SI to free Ranjit.

Police had accused Ranjit of having nexus with the proscribed PREPAK organization, said family members.

The same SI came and pulled up Ranjit again from his home in the wee hours today. When Naoba rang up, the police team said that two including Ranjit have been arrested and one is yet to be arrested.

Family members of Ranjit went to Porompat police station this morning but they returned empty handed as they could not meet any of the officers.

In the meantime, the family members of Ranjit were informed about the dead of Ranjit in police custody.

On hearing about the dead of Ranjit in police custody, people of Itham Nungoi blocked Imphal-Ukhrul road at Yourabung area.

Coincidentally, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi was passing by the same route on his inspection tour to Dolaithabi Barrage after returning from Maphou Dam.

However, before the CM and his entourage reached the area, a large number of Imphal East police personnel came there and fired tear gas shells and drove away the protesters.

Later, people of Itham Nungoi held a meeting and constituted a joint action committee.

The meeting resolved that SI RK Brojen and other personnel responsible for the dead of Ranjit should be terminated from service.

Video coverage of the post mortem examination and urging the Government to take up necessary measures to avert such unlawful activities in future were the other resolutions of the meeting.

The meeting further resolved to launch intense mode of protest movement if the demands are not fulfilled by May 11.

Following a road accident about three years back, Ranjit’s left leg and hand could not move like normal persons. A steel rod was still imbedded in his leg.

He was working as a private tutor for the local children and he had no connection with any UG group, contended family members.

He is survived by his wife, one son and a daughter.

The bereaved family alleged that Ranjit died due to extreme torture by police.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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