Sam Stafford, 17, was shot dead in police firing at Guwahati’s Hatigaon locality on December 13, 2019
Sam Stafford, 17, was shot dead in police firing at Guwahati’s Hatigaon locality on December 13, 2019|EastMojo image
ASSAM

Assam CAA stir: Sam Stafford died due to ‘double bullet injuries’

Bereaved family members of Sam Stafford will soon move National Human Rights Commission with more evidences seeking for a speedy justice; files FIR against Assam Police after post-mortem report

Sandeep Borah

Sandeep Borah

Mukut Medhi

Guwahati: Nearly a month after the brutal police firing on Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), protesters at Guwahati’s Lachit Nagar and Hatigaon localities in which two youths fell prey to cops bullet, a recently released post-mortem report of one of the deceased youths by Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) is revealing some shocking details that might have happened during the police action.

In the post-mortem report of 16-year old Sam Stafford, who was killed in police firing at Hatigaon, prepared by GMCH’s department of forensic medicine, it states that his “death was due to shock and haemorrhage as a result of injuries sustained over the body. It further revealed that all injuries in his body were antemortem and were caused by rifled firearm except for a few others that were caused by blunt force impact”.

Post-mortem report shared with Sam Stafford’s family by GMCH authorities
Post-mortem report shared with Sam Stafford’s family by GMCH authorities
EastMojo image 

Bringing a new twist to the police action that Stafford allegedly sustained two bullet injuries, the post-mortem report also stated that at point number five and six of the report Sam was shot twice -- one “punctured injury of size 2.5 cm x 2 cm x cavity deep is present on right lower side of face located 2cm right to chin” and the other “punctured injury of size 0.5cm x 0.5cm and thoracic cavity deep is present on back of the chest located at the level of 3rd thoracic vertebra and 1 cm right to the midline”.

“The bullet passed from back to front, below upwards, lateral to medially piercing through muscle on the back and exiting through muscle of upper side,” the report further stated.

Post-mortem report shared with Sam Stafford’s family by GMCH authorities
Post-mortem report shared with Sam Stafford’s family by GMCH authorities
EastMojo image

Meanwhile, smelling foul play by police officials in the brutal firing on December 13 night, family members of Stafford, soon after receiving the post-mortem reports, registered a complaint against Assam Police accusing the department of murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and carrying out a "criminal act" by several persons under Section 34 of IPC at Hatigaon police station.

Speaking with EastMojo, Stafford’s uncle, Bishop Stafford, expressed that they were shocked after looking into the post-mortem report. He alleged that the police officials first assaulted Sam with their rifles on his body as there were several injury marks and then shot him on his chin from a point zero range.

“Not satisfied at this cruel act, they fired the second bullet on his back,” alleged his uncle.

Revealing their future course of action in seeking justice for Stafford, his uncle categorically said that they will approach the National Human Rights Commission in the national capital in the coming days to seek justice for him and demanding stringent punishment for those involved in the brutal killing. He further said that Congress chief Rahul Gandhi along with his mother Sonia Gandhi will also accompany the bereaved members in filing their complaint at NHRC in New Delhi.

“We are trying to accumulate more and more evidence including videos from the incident spot in order to support our complaint at NHRC,” he added.

Expressing grief over the police brutality meted to her son, Stafford’s mother Mamoni Stafford said that her son was not involved in any kind of violent activities on the day of the incident and he never did in any day of his life as he was a peace-loving person.

“My son was not a terrorist, neither he was a hooligan. Who gave them the right to kill my innocent son? I need justice for my son,” said his mother.

A talented drummer and a much-loved social worker, Sam Stafford was shot dead in police firing at Hatigaon’s Namghor street on December 13 last year as he was returning from an anti CAA protest programme held by noted singer Zubeen Garg at Latasil playground. On the same night another 17-year old youth, Dipanjal Das of Chaygaon was shot dead by police bullets that took place at Lachit Nagar of Guwhati.

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