Jayanta Bora – an Assamese Youth was picked up by a joint team of Army and Police in the early hours on 15th June. However, the next day, he was declared dead. This ‘mysterious’ death of Jayanta has created an uproar in Assam. Satra Mukti Sangraam Samiti (SMSS) has demanded CBI inquiry and arrest of convicts within seven days.
According to Bidyut Saikia, Joint Secretary – SMSS, Jayanta – a youth hailing from Borhola in Assam was picked up by a joint team of Police and Army. A group of 9 military personnel led by Major Sachin Sinha of No. 244 Saraideu Field Regiment entered Jayanta’s house and picked him up forcefully at around 12.30 AM on 15th June 2020. SDPO Titabar Amrit Kumar Hojai and Officer-In-Charge(OIC) of Borhola Police Station Mintu Kumar Handique were also part of the team that picked up Jayanta. The charges against which Jayanta was being arrested was not informed. However, before taking him away, the joint team has collected signature on ‘No Objection-Military Custody’ Certificate from Jayanta Bora’s mother who is illiterate.
According to OIC, Jayanta was handed over to the army. However, the villagers alleged that Jayanta was tortured on the way as he was heard shouting ‘Maa…Maa..’
He was taken to a nearby hospital at around 1.14 AM. Doctor Dolan Bora has informed that Jayanta was senseless and then, he was shifted to Jorhat Medical College Hospital. Dr. Prakash Bora declared Jayanta dead at 3.24 AM after the primary check-ups. Jayanta’s family members were neither informed immediately nor when his mother visited the Borhola Police station the next morning. It was only later in the day, that Jayanta’s family heard the news of his death from a TV media news.
Family did not receive Jayanta´s Body
The family and the locals denied receiving the body of Jayanta. They demanded immediate arrests of those who were involved in the ‘killing’ the local media outlets reported. The family received huge support as around 200-300 people held hartals in front of the police station while refuting to receive Jayanta’s body. However, the Police and the DC pressurised the family to receive Jayanta’s body. As the matters escalated, on Tuesday, State Agriculture and Cabinet Minister Atul Bora and MP Jogen Mohan visited the site. They persuaded the family, informed that the Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonawal had assured that the case will be tried in a fast track court. Rs 6 lakh and also a government job to a kin of the family was assured as compensation. Also, Three Assam police personnel involved were suspended from duties.
Allegations against Jayanta
Allegations were made by the police against Jayanta being associated with armed organizations that demands sovereignty. It is also being said that the search and pick-up was a counter-insurgency operation. However, Bidyut Saikia has alleged that Jayanta had some evidence of the involvement of the police in illegal money (hafta) collection from mining operations.
Black Days reminded
Police had informed that they were not aware of the charges leveled against Jayanta when the villagers questioned them. Villagers have also questioned how was it possible for the army to pick up someone without informing the local police. These kinds of incidents have raised questions about the law and order and security of common people. It also makes them feel fearful and insecure and reminds them of Black Days.
Such incidents remind people of the series of secret killings conducted in the state between 1996-2002. Also, such cases have been reported over the last year.
Bidyut Saikia told that clear signs of torture were visible on Jayanta’s body and hence demanded a CBI inquiry. He also added that killing of innocent people while misusing the provisions of the AFSPA Act would not be tolerated.
Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had claimed in 2019 that the previous NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee had pressured him to continue with “secret killings”. He accused his predecessor Prafulla Kumar Mahanta of having pursued the practice during 1996-2001 to break the backbone of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).