Nagaland: Thousands hold rally over 'custodial death' of Naga youth in Assam

Kohima: Thousands of students under the banner of the Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF), on Friday, held mass public rallies across Eastern Nagaland areas to protest against the “custodial death” of Naga youth who passed away while in the custody of Assam Police. 

The decision to hold the rally was made following an emergency executive meeting to stand in solidarity with the community of the deceased.

On Friday, peaceful rallies were held in all its Seven Federating Units Headquarters. It’s federating units include the Chang Wedoshi Setshang, Khiamnuingan Students’ Union, Konyak Students’ Union, Phom Students’ Conference, Tikhir Students’ Union, United Sangtam Students’ Conference, and Yimkhuing Akheru Arihako. 

The ENSF also submitted a memorandum to Nagaland chief secretary J Alam expressing it’s utmost shock and dismay over the 16th August incident where Henveih Phom (35), son of L. Eshak Phom from Anaki-C Village, was arrested by the Assam Police at Anaki Village Jurisdiction (Nagaland) and remanded into Sivasagar District Jail in Assam. 

The student body alleged that the deceased was tortured and brutally beaten by the Assam Police in broad daylight and was lodged at Sivasagar District Jail, Assam. 

“At the time of his arrest, his health condition was physically fit. However, within six days of his arrest by Assam Police, he died under their custody on 21/08/22 in a very suspicious manner. The family was informed by Assam Police only after his death. When the family reached the spot, his dead body was found lying in a corridor at Joysagar Civil Hospital, Assam,” ENSF president Chingmak Chang and assistant general secretary Kaibo Konyak said. 

The Eastern Naga Students’ Federation vehemently condemned the “heinous act’ saying that it is deeply concerned by the deteriorating circumstances in which such lawlessness exists, which undermines and pays no heed to the fundamental rights of citizens as enshrined in the Constitution of India and International Human Rights Law.

“The inhuman and irresponsible act by the law enforcing force is totally unacceptable and is a matter of disgrace to the constitution of the country,” the student body said. 

It therefore demanded that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under a competent and unscrupulous investigating Officer be set up to enquire into the mysterious death of Henveih Phom, and ensure that timely justice is delivered by booking the perpetrators under the relevant section of the law.  

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