Missing since March 24, ex-militant found dead in Assam jungle

Silchar: A former cadre of the Bru Revolutionary Army of Union (BRAU) militant outfit Joiba Reang (35), who went missing on March 24, was found dead in a jungle on Friday evening.

Sources said members of the Reang community saw Joiba’s dead body in a jungle in Harharikhal on Friday evening after which they informed the police.

Dholai police station officer-in-charge Manoj Baruah along with magistrate B. Chetri and a team of policemen rushed to the spot and recovered the dead body found in a partially-decomposed condition.

The body was then sent to Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH) for post-mortem after necessary formalities. A torch light and a sharp weapon were found near Joiba’s body, the sources said.

Dholai police station’s officer in-charge Manoj Baruah told EastMojo on Saturday afternoon that the post-mortem of Joiba’s dead body had been done and they are waiting for the autopsy report.

The body was found in a decomposed state and prima facie it was not clear how Joiba died. The autopsy report will make the picture of the case clear, Baruah said.

Joiba’s father Upendra Reang, however, claimed Joiba’s dead body had injury marks and that he was tortured and murdered. He sought a high-level investigation into the matter and punishment for all involved in the alleged crime.

Local residents (of the Reang tribe) of Hatikhal and neighbouring areas also claimed Joiba was killed and demanded that the matter be probed properly and stern action taken against all those involved in the alleged murder.

On March 29 (Wednesday), Joiba’s father Upendra Reang lodged a missing complaint with the Palonghat police outpost (which comes under the purview of the Dholai police station).

As per Upendra, Joiba went out to go to a jungle in a nearby area to get vegetables around 4 pm on March 24 and did not return back to home. Joiba took his two pet dogs with him while going to the jungle, but the canines came back home on March 25 without Joiba.

Nearly a hundred former cadres of the BRAU, who live in and around Hatikhal, searched for Joiba for days (since Joiba went missing) in the village and in jungles along the Assam-Mizoram border in Dholai but could not find him.

Joiba was a cadre of the Bru Revolutionary Army of Union (BRAU) whose members (including Joiba) had surrendered with their arms in Barak Valley before the Assam government around two years ago.

A section of local people suspected there was a big mystery behind Joiba’s disappearance and alleged murder and that the entire incident might have a connection with any active militant organisation.

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Almost 1200 Bru-Reang militants had laid down their arms and returned to normal life in the Hailakandi district on December 12, 2022.

The militants of the United Democratic Liberation Front of Barak Valley (UDLF-BV) and Bru Revolutionary Army of Union (BRAU) surrendered with their arms during a programme held in Katlicherra in Hailakandi district in the presence of Minister Pijush Hazarika, Assam Legislative Assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary, Additional Director General of Police (Special Branch) Hiren Nath and other senior police officials.

Also Read | Ex-militant missing since March 24 in Cachar, family files complaint

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