Opposition for probe into Sanjib's death
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 17: Even though Opposition members O Joy and N Biren demanded that an inquiry be instituted into the death of RPF's Publicity and Communication Chief Ningthoujam Mangoljao alias Sanjib, Chief Minister O Ibobi Suggested that it would be prudent to first wait for the post mortem report.

He assured that if the post mortem report is not satisfactory then an inquiry will be instituted.

Moving a call attention motion during the morning session of the Assembly today, Opposition MLA O Joy said that Sanjib's death can be categorized as custodial death.

The body of Sanjib was fished out from Nambul River near Irom Meijrao on the morning of July 8 after he was arrested along with two persons on July 6 at Lamphelpat.

Expressing surprise that a man arrested by the police escaped from their custody and later turned up dead in a river, Joy wondered whether the police men responsible for arresting Sanjib are properly trained or not.

Joy questioned how Sanjib could have escaped from the custody of the police and added that, no law in India empowers the security-personnel to eliminate anyone after arrest.

No man can be punished without the due process of law, said Joy and recalled how Billa and Ranga were tried by a Court of law even though they were involved in the gruesome killings of the Chopra siblings in New Delhi many years back.

The police cannot take the law into its own hand, said Joy and added that the many stories doing the round in connection with Sanjib's death can only be ascertained by the post mortem report.

Joy also said that an inquiry should be initiated to probe the circumstances that led to the death of Sanjib.

The Opposition MLA also questioned why some persons who had said that Sanjib died in police custody were being hunted.

Is such practices allowed in a democracy, he asked.

Joining in the discussion, Phayeng Assembly Constituency MLA N Biren inquired how only one driver was inside the vehicle while Sanjib was being taken away by the police.

Killing in encounters is a different matter but indiscriminate killing is a matter of serious concern, he observed.

Giving his statement, Chief Minister O Ibobi said that the police personnel were returning after arresting some NSCN (K) cadres.

As most of the policemen were detailed to take away the NSCN (K) cadres, only one policeman and the driver could be spared to accompany Sanjib.

He said that the RPF leader jumped down from the vehicle and escaped while he was being taken in the police vehicle.

The answer to whether he was killed or drowned will be known only by the post mortem report, said the Chief Minister and added that if the post mortem report is not satisfactory, an inquiry may be instituted to look into the matter.

The Chief Minister also clarified on the floor of the House that an Executive Magistrate, the relatives of Sanjib and Government representatives were present during the post mortem.