Aizawl\Kohima: A Mizoram MLA on Monday wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking his intervention in the death of a 20-year-old Mizo woman who belonged to a security force posted in Nagaland and was found dead in a jungle near their camp on September 3.

The MLA has also sought an independent probe to ensure that justice is brought to the victim, who hailed from south Mizoram’s Lunglei district.

In his letter to the President on Monday, Dr. K. Pachhunga, a legislator from Lunglei South assembly constituency, said that one Jones C. Malsawmkimi, who worked as a medical attendant with the Assam Rifles, went missing from her camp at Shukhovi about 20 kilometers from Dimapur in Nagaland on September 1 around 5 pm. Three days later, the woman was found dead in a jungle a few kilometers from their camp on September 3, the letter said.

Following the FIR in connection with the alleged murder, at least four suspects were arrested. However, the ensuing investigation and statement of the suspects claimed the victim to have died of “drug overdose,” it said.

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EastMojo contacted security personnel in Nagaland, who said syringes were found at the site where the dead body was found, hinting at drug abuse. Sources said the outfit of the deceased at the site was also intact.

Police in Nagaland had initially detained seven persons in this connection.

Refuting the “drug overdose” angle, however, the MLA said in his letter that the victim was well known to him as a close friend of his daughter and that she had no history of drug abuse. He said the forensic photos of her body indicated signs of physical assault, which hinted at kidnap, rape, and murder rather than drug overdose.

“It is most unfortunate and also a cause for concern that an armed female personnel met with such a miserable end in the vicinity of where she was posted. This incident also speaks volumes about how unsafe the women are in our country,” the letter said.

“I humbly and sincerely beseech your honorable office to kindly look into the matter for a free and fair trial so that justice may be served to the victim,” it said.

The legislator also demanded that pension and other permissible benefits be given to the bereaved family. Copies of the letter were also sent to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Defence Minister, Mizoram Governor, Chief Ministers of Mizoram and Nagaland, Chief of Army Staff, and Director General of Assam Rifles.

The officer-in-charge of the Women Police Station confirmed to EastMojo that three persons have been arrested in the case. The officer, however, refused to give any other information. All attempts by EastMojo to reach the Dimapur Police spokesperson went unanswered.

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Pachhunga told EastMojo that the 20-year old woman from Lunglawn village, which falls under Lunglei South constituency, joined Assam Rifles as a medical attendant in 2019 and was posted at the Assam Rifles Composite Hospital in Dimapur’s Shukhovi at the time of the incident.

She left the hospital around 5 pm on September 1 after completing her daily duties and went missing since then, he said. On September 3, her body was found in a jungle by the locals and Mizos who live in the vicinity, he said.

Quoting eyewitnesses, Pachhunga said the victim’s eyes were already removed when her body was recovered, which hinted at “murder.”

He said Nagaland police has detained four auto drivers who claimed that they helped the victim because of “drug overdose.”

Citing that the investigation was “unsatisfactory,” Pachhunga said that as a legislator from the victim’s place he took up the matter to the Indian President to ensure that justice is brought to her.

The victim’s body was brought to her native village on Sunday, he added.

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