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Student death case: JAC courts arrest

Correspondent IMPHAL, Aug 9 | Publish Date: 8/9/2019 11:27:29 AM IST

Amidst steeping up agitations demanding justice for the minor girl student who was found death in her hostel dormitory in suspicious manner, 10 members of the JAC have been picked by the police on Friday.

Normal life was severely hit in Manipur on Friday owing to the 19-hour general strike call given by the ‘JAC Against the Murder of Ningthoujam Babaysana Chanu’.

Babysana, a student of class-VII stayed in the hostel of Standard Robarth Higher Secondary School, Imphal was found death by hanging in suspicious manner in her hostel dormitory on July 18 last.

The JAC called for the general strike as part of its series of ongoing protests demanding justice for the victim student. The strike due to end by Friday midnight commenced from 5am.

The strike received overwhelming and spontaneous response from across the valley districts where protesters took to the streets in their respective localities and imposed blockade on roads. Sit-in-protests were also staged blocking roads at several places.

Even though there were sporadic incidences of protestors clashing with the police who used force to clear the road for traffic, no major untoward incident related with the general strike was reported form any part of the state.

However two women protestors were injured by police action against the blocking of road at Lamphel area of Imphal West. They were hit by tear gas shells fired to disperse them from blocking the road.

The JAC has given the general strike call dissatisfied over the manner in which the police are investigating into the suspicious death of the girl. 

The JAC alleged that police were trying to the convert it as a case of suicide brushing the truth  under carpet. It further alleged police harassing members of the family of the victim student, their relatives as well as JAC members instead of conducting a fair investigation to deliver justice to the family of the victim girl.

Registering a strong discontent against police crackdown against leaders and members of the JAC and family members, 10 members of the “JAC against murder of Ningthoujam Babaysana Chanu” including the convenor surrendered to the police on Friday Earlier, in its crackdown against the JAC members, the police had already arrested two members including co-convenor who were later sent to judicial custody by a local court.

Denouncing the arrest of its members, the JAC had, on Thursday, announced that other 10 members who were searched by the police will surrender to the police if government fails to release the arrested two members by 10am of today. 

Translating the announcement into action, 10 members of the JAC led by its convener came out together and surrender to the police who were on duty at Thangmeiband area today, around 11 am.

Reports said that in its continue crackdown, a strong team of police have stormed the house of  the victim at Thangmeiband yesterday night and assaulted some family members.

The police charged them of inciting the ongoing agitations. An aunt of the victim girl and her husband alleged she sustained injuries after being beaten by the police late Thursday night. Police beat them up demanding production of their son on the alleged charge of taking main role in organising the agitations, the uncle who faced the wrath of the police disclosed.

Meanwhile, coinciding with the JAC’s allegation, police today gave hint while keeping the progress of the investigation of the case being conducted by Special Investigation Team (SIT), pending CBI taking over the case.

Addressing a news conference at Imphal West district police headquarters, IGP Clay Khongsai said that the investigation into the case was going on it right tract.

He informed that during the course of investigation, SIT has so far arrested five officials of the Standard Robarth Higher Secondary School including its principal and they were currently in the judicial custody.

Imphal West SP hinted the minor girl committed suicide while giving progress report of the investigation.

He said that a plastic rope (yellow in colour) which was similar to the rope used in hanging the student was seized from the farm house of the father of the deceased at Haraorou in Imphal East district, in course of investigation.

He said that the results of the forensic test of the ropes were waiting as both the ropes seized by the police have been sent to forensic science laboratory for examination.

During the course of investigation, it was also found that the girl was poor in her academics and as such her family background was examined.

From the examination, it was revealed that the father of the deceased girl had three wives and the deceased was the daughter of second wife and she was staying with her step mother since around 2009.

From the statement of the other inmates of the hostel where she stayed, SIT has revealed that the girl often remained alone and in some note books recovered from her hostel room, the girl was found writing several times about her love for her real mother and calling her to come and take her as she was very sad.

The police officers made an appeal to the general public, particularly the JAC, civil society organisations and student bodies not to believe to baseless observation while asserting that investigation was going on in the right tract.

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