Leader of Opposition in Assam Debabrata Saikia has written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for a judicial probe into the alleged fake encounter by a joint team of security forces in Chirang district in the state. The Congress MLA said that as per media reports two men – Lucas Narzary(30) and David Islary(25) were shot dead on March 30 this year in an operation involving the Army, Assam police, CRPF and Sasashtra Seema Bal.
“The accusation of the two youths being killed in a staged or fake encounter has been levelled by none other than the Inspector General of the CRPF, North East Sector, Rajnish Rai,” Saikia said in the letter.
Fake encounters or secret killings had emerged as a very emotive issue in Assam at one point of time. “Therefore, without dwelling too much on the past, I would most sincerely urge you (Singh) to initiate a judicial inquiry into the incident of fake encounter and also take stern steps to prevent recurrence of such undemocratic and inhumane steps,” he said.
He also pointed out that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is in force in Assam and the Unified Command structure is also in place here. “This means that the Union Home Ministry has a big say on security matters in Assam,” Saikia added.
Rajnish Rai, a CRPF Inspector General posted in the north east, had on May 24 alleged that an encounter carried by a joint squad of security forces in Assam was fake and it killed two persons in cold blood claiming to be NDFB rebels.
The CRPF IG, a 1992-batch IPS officer of Gujarat cadre, said he had conducted a “discreet” inquiry on his own chronicling how a team of the Assam Police, the Army, the CRPF, its jungle warfare unit CoBRA and Sashastra Seema Bal conducted the encounter on March 29-30 at Simlaguri area of Chirang district.
Rai, in his 13-page report, had alleged that information about the incident and FIR filed by the joint squad of forces presented a “fictitious account” of the operation to “conceal pre-planned murders of two persons in custody and present it as some brave act of professional achievement”. He had identified the two killed as Lucas Narzary alias N Langfa and David Islary alias Dayud as he alleged that they were “already” in the custody of the security forces and the entire encounter operation is “very likely to be a case of premeditated custodial killing”.
The Union Home Ministry has acknowledged receiving the report and said it is being studied and action on its content will be taken soon. Rai, deputy chief of CRPF formations in the north east, has also sent the report to the Assam chief secretary, who is the chairperson of the Unified Command of security forces, to the CRPF headquarters, the GOC of 4 Corps in Assam and to the director general of SSB.