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Body was removed ‘before police could reach’

The 39th Assam Rifles has maintained that the death was a suicide.

By: Express News Service | Aizawl | Published: September 5, 2014 1:43:23 am

Rifleman Ajit Rai’s body was removed from the Assam Rifles camp in Mizoram’s Mimbung village, where he died of gunshot wounds, and taken by officials from a nearby camp to Aizawl, about 200 km away, for autopsy allegedly before police could reach, The Indian Express has learned.

Rai died of gunshot wounds around 1.30 pm on August 18. Sources said the police were informed about the “suicide” only around 4 pm. Even before the police could send a team to investigate, they were informed again that the body was being taken to Aizawl for autopsy and would be flown to his hometown in UP the next day as “tickets had already been booked”.

Sources said a doctor at the health facility in Ngopa, the nearest town from Mimbung, had been informed to be ready to receive the body and perform the post-mortem but it never arrived.

The 26-year-old Rifleman’s elder brother Atul, who is also with Assam Rifles, has gone public with allegations that his brother was shot by senior officers after an altercation.

The 39th Assam Rifles has maintained that the death was a suicide. But, the police are looking at it as a murder case. They have asked for sanction to question all personnel at the Mimbung camp, sources said.

Defence Ministry officials in Delhi said it was an “open-and-shut” case. “The Court of Inquiry has established that he had come back after a divorce and shot himself. The allegations by the family may be viewed in the backdrop that suicide cases in Army stand to lose all post-retirement benefits,” said an official.

(With inputs from Delhi)

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