A conglomerate of civil society organisations calling themselves the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur and the United Nations, CSCHR, has petitioned the chairperson of the Manipur Human Rights Commission, to intervene in the police custodial torture and death of Arambam Nanal 37 years.
The joint letter said Arambam Nanao, son of (late) Arambam Dhananjoy, of Sagolband Kangabam Leikai, Imphal expired on May 2, 2022 as a result of the torture he obviously underwent in police custody.
It said a team of the CSCHR independently conducted a fact-finding inquiry by making a solidarity visit to the aggrieved family on May 4, 2022.
The organisation said the salient content of its findings include:
- The deceased Nanao is survived by his wife Arambam ongbi Meisnam Teresa, 29, and three minor sons.
- On the morning of May 2, at around 9am, even as he walked out if his house, some men in plain clothes loitering outside his residence overpowered him, pushed him inside a wihte parking car and whisked him away. On of the young men who was pulling off in a white Activa scooter told Nanao’s mother, Arambam ongbi Kombirei who as walking behind him and was an eye witness of the whole event, that they ae the police team of Sub Inspector Jitendro Singh of Imphal Police Station.
- The family members gathered and went to the Police Station at aournd 10pm and waited for SI Jitendro. Jitendro came out of the police station at around 1.30pm and told the family members to arrange a sum of rupees five lakhs to secure the release of Nanao. The family members demanded to see Nanao and he was brought out of the police lockup. Nanao was reportedly limping and he also requested the family to arrange the money as soon as possible. He was taken back towards the police lockup, without giving any further time to talk to his family. The family requested Jitendro to give time till 5pm but he insisted the money should be delivered by 3pm.
- The family was handed over an arrest memo signed by SI Thokchom Jitendra Singh, which mentioned neither the reason of arrest nor the date and time of arrest. There was also no signature of any witness in the memo.
- A police team headed by SI Thokchom Jitendro Singh then bought back Nanao back to his house around 3pm. The police personnel reportedly put him and his family member under tremendous stress and anxiety to bring out the gold, supposedly kept in the house. Nanao was reportedly physically weak and mentally stressed out. He collapsed inside the house before the police personnel. He was immediately rushed to the RIMS Hospital by the polic personnel, where he was declared to be brought dead. Tale tell signed of torture was found on his body, including bruise marks.
- On the same day, May 2, SI Jitndro was kept under suspension vide oder 11/1/c-4/RO/2022 of the SP Imphal West. The next day, May 3, an FIR no. 106(5)2022 IPS under section 304/34 IPC has been drawn up against SI Th. Jitendro and other unknown persons with SI T. Amalkumar as I). Post Mortem of the dead body was conducted on May 5 at RIMS Morgue.
The CSCHR in the letter, requested the Manipur Human Rights Commission to kindly monitor the investigation to ensure prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigation is conducted as per the United Nations Minnesota Protocol on the Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Death, 2016 and also in accordance to he guidelines issued by the National Human Rights Commission, pertaining to custodial deaths.
The petition is signed by Joy Chingakham, co-convenor CSCHR, Reny Takhellambam, president EEVFAM, and Babloo Loitongbam, executive director, HRA.