Rashtrapati Bhavan has asked the Defence Ministry to reply to questions asked by the family of Assam Rifles rifleman Ajit Rai, who died of multiple gunshot wounds to his head inside a paramilitary camp in Mizoram over four months ago.
In a letter to the ministry, the President’s secretariat has asked that the ministry directly liaise with Ajit’s family regarding their petition for a CBI inquiry and the complaint that information regarding the death was not being communicated to them.
Ajit Rai had died on the afternoon of August 18 at the Assam Rifles camp in Mimbung, a village in Mizoram’s Champhai district. He had multiple gunshot wounds to the head and police, suspecting foul play, had launched an investigation into the death.
Ajit’s family insists that he was killed by higher-ranking soldiers after an altercation at the camp. They have demanded a CBI probe, saying that they have never been told of the status of the probe. They also claim they have been threatened by military officers to hush things up.
The petition, signed by Ajit’s mother Munaki Devi, claims at least two of her late son’s colleagues have told her about the chain of events leading up to his death. The petition also names several paramilitary officials who it claims threatened the family.
Meanwhile, the Army has said the death was a suicide and Ajit’s family is trying to make it look like a murder so that they can avail of monetary benefits they would be ineligible for if the soldier killed himself.
The family has petitioned various government officials and the President to seek a CBI inquiry and information related to the investigation. The family has said it could not trust Assam Rifles’ internal inquiry or the Mizoram Police, who they claim appeared to be suppressing the findings.
Neither the Assam Rifles nor the police have told the family of the status of the investigation, Ajit’s brother Atul, also a rifleman with Assam Rifles, said.
Atul Rai had filed an FIR with Mizoram police soon after his brother’s death, alleging senior Army personnel of killing Ajit.