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Human rights defender tortured and electrocuted in Manipur
Published on 3 Mar. 2010 12:04 AM IST
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Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) received information about the case of a human rights defender tortured by the police in Imphal. In a report in website, it was reported that the police arrested and tortured the victim, Oinam Bikramjit, in custody. However, the victim feared that he would be re-arrested and tortured if he took any actions against the police officers. According to the information received by AHRC, the Manipur State Police Commando Unit arrested Oinam Bikramjit on September 1, 2009, along with three other human rights defenders including Mutum Ibemhal, Mayanglambam Radhesana and Oinam Amuthoi. At about 5pm on that day, police officers surrounded the house of Ibemhal, in Imphal West district and searched the house but found nothing incriminating. Soon, a team of women police officers arrived and arrested Ibemhal, Bikramjit, Radhesana and Amuthoi. It was reported that the police violated all legal procedures regarding arrest of persons. The police produced the four detainees at the Imphal Chief Judicial Magistrate court, on the next day and released Radhesana and Amuthoi on bail but remanded Bikramjit and Ibemhal into custody. The Court allowed the police to keep Bikramjit and Ibemhal in police custody instead of judicial custody till September 4 and on the same day the police produced Bikramjit and Ibemhal again in court, and the court remanded them into judicial custody till September 17. At this point the officers from Nambol Police Station approached the court with a prayer to allow them to arrest Bikramjit in connection with a case concerning the burning of Nambol Sub Divisional Office that happened on August 20, 2009. The court ordered to produce Bikramjit before the court and allowed the Nambol police to record their arrest of Bikramjit. Then they produced Brikamjit in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate in Bishnupur with a prayer for police remand. The Court allowed the application and remanded Bikramjit into police custody till September 7, 2009. Meanwhile, the district magistrate, Imphal West District issued an order on September 5, 2009 to detain Bikramjit under the National Security Act, 1980 (NSA). The NSA allows preventive detention of a citizen for prolonged periods with limited possibilities of bail. Bikramjit was not brought before the Bishnupur court on September 7. According to information received by the AHRC, the police tortured Bikramjit in custody. Bikramjit along with others were released from custody on January 7, 2010. But he is suffering from physical as well as mental trauma from the severe torture inflicted upon him while in custody. It is reported that the police resorted to brutal forms of torture on Bikramjit, including electrocuting him. Bikramjit is afraid that the police will detain him again if he initiated any action against the officers. He requires immediate expert medical assistance and counseling for trauma. Oinam Bikramjit is a human rights activist in Manipur. He is an active campaigner in the state-wide movement calling for the withdrawal of the draconian laws like the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 from the state. He has also been vocal against the extrajudicial executions carried out by the security forces in Manipur. He is the General Secretary of the United People Front of Manipur. He is part of the Apunba Lup, an umbrella body of different organisations in Manipur. It is believed that Bikramjit’s arrest was a kneejerk reaction by the state government against the mass protest organised by Apunba Lup and other human rights organisations against the 23 July killings in Manipur.

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