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Arrest Assam Rifles personnel: Upendra panel
G Vinayak in Guwahati | August 27, 2004 09:20 IST
After a month-long wait for cooperation from Assam Rifles authorities, the Justice C Upendra Commission probing the death of Th Manorama Devi in Manipur has issued a bailable arrest warrant against the four Assam Rifles (AR) personnel.
The commission's move comes a day after a forensic report indicated that semen was found on Manorama's clothes.
Manorama Devi, who the army says was a hardcore militant of the banned People's Liberation Army (PLA), was picked up by the Assam Rifles personnel from her house near Imphal on the night of July 10/11.
She was found dead hours later, with tell-tale injury and torture marks on her body.
The Manipur government had set up a judicial commission headed by Justice C Upendra to probe into the incident, but the Assam Rifles has refused to cooperate with the Commission from day one.
Thursday's directive by the Commission instructed the Director General of police (DGP), Manipur, to execute the warrant.
It said that the AR personnel who failed to appear before the commission for examination during hearing, should be produced before it without fail.
However, on the request of the Assam Rifles counsel, the Chairman of the Commission kept in abeyance the arrest warrant till 1 pm on Friday.
The warrant with a security of Rs 500 each to the satisfaction of the Commission, would come into effect after 1 pm of August 27 if the AR authorities failed to produce the witnesses or the witnesses failed to appear voluntarily before the commission, the directive said.
The AR counsel on Thursday requested the commission to provide a copy of the forensic report of Manorama's clothes issued by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Kolkata so as to enable the AR authority to produce the four witnesses, including Colonel Jagmohan, Commandant of 17th Assam Rifles before the Commission for examination.
The CFSL in its forensic report submitted before the Commission on Wednesday, had detected stains of human semen on the cloths of Manorama Devi.
This was detected during a test of 30-year-old Manorama's clothes by Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Kolkata.The sources said blood stains, also detected on the undergarments of the deceased woman, were found to be of O-type.
The Assam Rifles authorities had earlier cited security reasons for their inability to appear before the panel and wanted it to examine the witnesses in camera at the AR office at Kangla.
Quoting intelligence report, the Assam Rifles counsel reiterated that a cash award of Rs 100,000 for the jawan witnesses and Rs 500,000 for the AR commandant had been announced by the banned People's Liberation Army.
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