TODAY -
Justice for widow after 10 yrs
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, Jul 27: The Gauhati High Court yesterday asked the Centre to pay Rs 3 lakhs to a widow for the death of her husband S Paiso, at the hands Assam Rifles way back in 1996.The petitioner is S Kahawon, 50 of Huishu village in Ukhrul district bordering Myanmar.

In the wee hours of March 11, 1996, suspected NSCN (IM) cadres attacked the AR post at Huishu from all directions, advocate R Daniel, who appeared on behalf of the widow said after referring to her petition.

Fearing reprisals from the AR troops Huishu villagers began fleeing towards Poi village.

A reinforcement team of AR led by a Captain waylaid the villagers including the family of the deceased Paiso near Sorok paddy field and herded them back to their own village.

On the way to Huishu, the personnel besides bashing up the villagers also forced Paiso to carry a wireless set.

One AR man even put his Light Machine Gun on Paiso's shoulder.

The villagers, who were also compelled to shout "do not shoot" were used as "human shields" by the troops, he said.

All of them were taken to the AR post at Huishu and before long Paiso, then serving as a sector leader in the Village Volunteer Force (VVF), a central Government service, along with some others were again beaten black and blue.

Later Paiso was called out by the personnel and taken from the post and after some minutes the villagers heard some gunshots.

Later Paiso was found shot dead.

On the same day around noon the AR troops also torched nearly 150 houses at Huishu village, he said adding that on the night the villagers were herded inside the local Church and they were set free the following morning.

On seeing Paiso's bullet riddled body Kahawon along with her four children rushed there and her attempt to cover her husband's mortal remains by her shawl was foiled by the troopers, the lawyer said adding Paiso's body was examined by a Government doctor at the house of the local pastor.

Kahawon filed her writ petition in 1998 before the High Court and the latter had on September 18 of the same year ordered the District and Sessions Judge, Manipur east to conduct an inquiry on the matter.

The lower court submitted its findings before the Court on January 8, 2004.The report's operative part said, "In the result, in my opinion the petitioner's case that the said S Paiso died while in the custody of 20 AR is established.

There is no sufficient evidence to show that Paiso was an active member or sympathizer of NSCN (IM)".

As per material put before the Court, Paiso was serving as a sector leader in the VVF at the time of his death, the Session's Judge's findings also said.

After perusing the probe report and hearing all contesting parties in the case, Justice T NK Singh, in his Imphal bench sitting, asked the secretaries of MHA and Ministry of Defence, DG of Assam Rifles, CO 20 AR among other respondents to pay Rs 3 lakhs as compensation to the petitioner within three months.


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