Imphal: The Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur and United Nations (CSCHR) has urged the Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) to monitor the ongoing investigation into the case of Arambam Nanao, 37, who allegedly died in police custody on May 2.

In an application to the MHRC chairman on Friday, the Rights group urged the Commission to ensure that prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigation is being conducted as per the United Nations Minnesota Protocol on the Investigation of Potentially Unlawfully Death, 2016 and also in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Human Rights Commission pertaining to custodial death.

In an application, CSCHR stated that the team conducted the fact finding by making a solidarity visit to the aggrieved family on Wednesday. 

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As per the findings, CSCHR stated that Arambam Nanao, a residence of Sagolband Khangabam Leikai in Imphal, was picked up from outside of his house forcefully by a police team that came in civil dresses. The whole scene was witnessed by his mother Arambam ongbi Kombirei, it added.

When family members visited the police station, sub-inspector Jitendra demanded Rs 5 lakh from the family to secure the release of Nanao, said the Rights group.

It further stated that the family members demanded to see Nanao. However, when Nanao was brought out for the police lockup, he was reportedly limping and also requested the family to arrange the money as soon as possible. The family requested Jitendra to give time till 5 pm but he insisted that the money be delivered by 3 pm, it added.

An arrest memo signed by Thokchom Jitendra Singh, SI of Imphal Police station, was handed to the family. The memo neither mentioned the reason of the arrest nor the time and date of the arrests. Moreover, there was no signature of any witness in the memo, stated CSCHR in an application.

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A police team headed by SI Thokchom Jitendra Singh brought Nanao back to his house at around 3 pm. However, Nanao was reportedly physically weak and mentally stressed out, it stated.

It further mentioned that the police personnel reportedly put Nanao and his family members under tremendous stress and anxiety to bring out the gold, supposedly kept in the house. 

“Nanao collapsed inside the house before the police personnel. He was immediately rushed to the RIMS hospital by the police personnel, where he was declared to be brought death,” said CSCHR.

Tell-tale signs of torture are found on his body, including bruise marks, it added.

Following the incident, SI Jitendra was kept under suspension by SP Imphal West on May 2. Later, the police officer was booked under section 304/34 of the Indian Penal Code.

Meanwhile, a post mortem of the deceased body was conducted at RIMS morgue on Thursday.

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