Murder Of Mutahir Ali Tapader And Subsequent Police Atrocity In Barak
Valley Of Assam
By Wali Laskar
31 October, 2007
It was reported in local media
that an innocent citizen was killed by police on 21st September, 2007
at Kalain in the district of Cachar, Assam. The police tortured the
victim to death in full public view, allegedly for refusing by the victim
and his relatives to pay a gratification of rupees ten thousand to sub-inspector
Narain Tamuli, in-charge-officer of Kalain Police Patrol Post under
Katigorah Police Station.
Next day, after getting the
news, a team was formed by Barak Human Rights Protection Committee to
visit the spot, and find the facts about the whole case and submit a
preliminary report. According to the sources and witnesses talked with
by the BHRPC fact finding team, Motahir Ali Tapadar, 38 was a resident
of village Bhatghat in Kalain, a daily wage labourer and a father of
3 children of 9, 5 and 4 years of age. He was a law abiding and peace
loving citizen. There were no complaints against him whatsoever other
than one in connectionwith which he was taken into custody by the police.
Witnesses revealed that there
was a petty quarrel at 11am on 20th September between him and his neighbours,
namely, Ala Uddin and Sahab Uddin.The quarrel which led the parties
to scuffling actually was originated from the quarrel of the kids of
the two neighbouring houses over playthings or games. As a result Sahabuddin
lodged a complaint against Motahir Ali which was registered under section
326 etc. of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. At about 12.30 pm Narain Tamuli,
the in-charge-officer of Kalain PPP arrested Motahir Ali Tapadar. At
1.30pm both complainant and accused, namely Sahab Uddin and Motahir
Ali, were medically examined by Dr Badal Das and only a minor bruise
on the forehead of Mr. Tapadar was found which may be caused due to
scuffling. There were no wounds whatsoever on the person of the complainant,
leave alone such grievous hurt caused by dangerous weapons that can
fall under section 326.
Some respectable persons
from Bhatghat village and relatives of the detainees went to the PPP
to bail them out and settle the dispute amicably. Thry saw, according
to the statement of Alimun Nesa Tapadar, wife of the victim, who accompanied
the group, that S I Narain Tamuli and other police personnel were beating,
kicking, abusing and humiating the victim. Alimun Nesa also alleged
that Narain Tamuli administered on her person severe lathi-blows and
kicked her in the belly in her condition of pregnancy. Salman Uddin,
a minor son of Motahir and Alimun Nesa, who accompanied his mother to
see his father, was also beaten badly. When they prayed and beseeched
the in-charge officer police got infuriated and denied to release him
on bail. The whole night police tortured the detainee mercilessly.
Next day, that is 21st September,
at 10.30am when Narain Tamuli brought Mutahir Ali Tapadar out of the
station house to take him to court he started administering lathi-blows
and kicking incessantly in full view of the people gathered at the adjacent
office house of Kalain Gaon Panchayat where flood relief were being
distributed. The crowd tried to stop Tamuli in vain. Namar Ali Tapadar
and Alimun Nesa Tapadar, brother and wife respectively of the victim,
who were also present in the crowd, beseeched Tamuli for mercy with
no effect. At this time Tamuli demanded ten thousand rupees from Alimun
Nesa but she expressed her inability to pay such a huge sum. Here also
Tamuli beaten her and her brother in-law. Being frustrated they went
to the Circle Office to file complaint and seek help from Debashis Baishya,
circle officer and the nearest magistrate.
When the condition of the
victim deteriorated beyond limits Tamuli took him to Kalain Primary
Health Centre instead of court. In the PHC too Tamuli kept kicking and
beating him. The crowd gathered at a free medical camp, which was then
being held there, tried to dissuade him without result. Tamuli continued
his ritual until there was no sign of life in the body and it got still.
When at 1.30pm Dr Badal Das, in-charge officer of the health centre
came and examined he did not declare Motahir Ali dead, though in fact
he was, for fear of public fury. Instead, he referred him to the Silchar
Medical College Hospital, Silchar where Tapadar was declared dead.
After autopsy of the body
of Tapadar at the Silchar Medical College Hospital it was returned to
his family members at 1.30am in the night.
Before news came from the
Medical College the people could guess the fact and got outraged. Hundreds
of local people gathered at 2.00pm around the house of patrol post and
started shouting slogans demanding arrest of Narain Tamuli. Police charge
them with sticks and bayonet which further infuriated the crowd and
they started throwing stones. Police then opened fire and kept firing
till 80 rounds were shot. In the firing there was only one severe injury.
Shahidur Rahman, 17, who was watching the incident from the roof top
of a two storied house, was injured badly in his left leg. He was admitted
to Silchar Medical College Hospital; Silchar. .Being terrified by such
heavy firing the crowd got dispersed. Then the Police themselves set
fire on the patrol post and burnt it down in order to distract the attention
of people from the murder case and hush it up. The propaganda that after
the death of Mutahir Ali the outraged local people burnt down the patrol
post is false and intentional.
The terrified local people
shut their mouth tight. At first nobody dared to speak anything about
the incident. Subsequently a large number of local people requesting
anonymity claimed that some men of police had burnt down the patrol
post. They raise two arguments for the claim. Firstly, although there
was only one hit and injury the police shot eighty rounds of fire to
disperse the mob and no mob can withstand such a large quantity of fire.
In fact, exactly this thing happened. The mob got dispersed and fled
away after a few rounds of firing. Secondly, fire caught first in the
hind part of the patrol post. If the mob had set fire they would have
done so in the front part because they were there. Moreover, there is
a marsh behind the patrol post house for which it is not possible for
the mob to come along this side.
Police registered an FIR
against one Faruk Ahmed and other five hundred unidentified persons
in connection with the fabricated charges of attempt to murder, causing
obstruction to police the performance of their lawful duty etc invoking
section 307 etc. of IPC. Police, in connection with this false case,
raided, beaten, abused and humiliated family members, relatives and
fellow villagers of the victim. Even arrested they arrested three innocent
persons, namely Faruk Ahmed, Ibajul Hoque and Imamul Hoque, who were
subsequently released on bail by the Gauhati High Court.
When, Saidur Rahmen, the
person injured in police firing recovered a little and released from
the Medical College Hospital was also arrested by the police which act
of the police was termed by the intellectuals of the valley as barbaric
and brutal. With the intervention of Barak Human Rights Protection Committee
the Superintendent of Jails sent him to the hospital then applied to
the court for according permission.
Barak Human Rights Protection Committee thinks that the weight of the
arguments can not be denied. There are enough reasons to believe that
the police might not have burnt the patrol post themselves but they
did so through the agency of hired persons. In fact, the incident of
burning down the patrol post is enigmatic and indicative of a deeper
and larger conspiracy. The way in which police is desperately over-active
in hounding the people in relation to the case of burning down the patrol
post despite requests from various quarters not to harass and arrest
the innocent people and to call an all-party-meeting to decide further
action regarding the case, is indicative of such a conspiracy. The fact
of non-registration of an FIR regarding the murder of Mutahir Ali and
harassing and arresting innocent people arbitrarily tells of the desperate
efforts on the part of the police to save their skin at any cost. The
enigmatic web of the whole incident can only be unknotted by an impartial
investigation. So the Barak Human Rights Protection Committee strongly
demands a CBI probe of the whole incident.
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