Assam court moved over woman activist’s disappearance #Vaw


By IANS – GUWAHATI

20th February 2013

  • Two Assam-based NGOs have approached the Gauhati High Court seeking details of the
    Two Assam-based NGOs have approached the Gauhati High Court seeking details of the “disappearance” of a woman rights activist. PTI file photo

Two Assam-based NGOs have approached the Gauhati High Court seeking details of the “disappearance” of a woman rights activist, about whom police claimed that she has joined banned militant outfit ULFA.

Women in Governance (Wing-India) and Women Alliance for Violence Against Women (WAVAW) filed a habeas corpus petition in the court seeking the details Majoni Das, 30, and also asked the United Liberation Front of Asom to make it clear whether Majoni has joined the outfit.

The NGOs claimed Majoni Das’s “disappearance” was one of the many cases of “forced disappearances” that take place in the northeast region.

They demanded the police to step up investigation about the whereabouts of Majoni and disclose the facts.

The woman, a teacher and a rights activist hailing from Demow in Sivasagar district of Assam, left her home to meet the superintendent of police (SP) of Sivasagar district on Feb 10. She was summoned by the police chief. Majoni has remained untraced since then.

“When the family members approached the police the next day, the police informed them that Majoni had joined the ULFA and that she had left for Nagaland,” Bondita Acharya of the Wing-India told reporters here.

The police chief also informed the media the same day that Majoni had joined the militant outfit and circulated her photographs to the media.

“The SP of the district also asked the family members of Majoni Das to go to Nagaland and bring her back. The police claimed that they had proof that Majoni had joined the outfit,” said Acharya while pointing out to the mental harassment on the family members.

“We don’t think that Majoni has joined the outfit. She left home to meet the SP and went missing since then. How can the police ask us to go to Nagaland and find out my sister? Is it not the duty of the police to find out Majoni after we lodged a missing person complaint?,” asked Majoni’s sister, Bharati Hazarika.

“When we approached the police seeking the details of Majoni, the police refused to divulge any details to us,” said Acharya while adding that the NGOs have filed a habeas corpus petition in the Gauhati High court seeking the details of Majoni.

“Police have also refused to inform us as to why Majoni was summoned by the SP. The police claimed that they are aware that Majoni will join the militant outfit and leave for its camps in Myanmar through Nagaland – in that case, was it not the duty of the police to stop her from joining the outfit?” said Acharya.

“The family is worried as they about 10 years back lost their son Diganta Das in a similar mysterious disappearance case. The question arises whether police are responsible for the sudden disappearance of Majoni or was it her choice?” she said

 

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Missing Mystery of Majoni Das #AFSPA


 

PRESS RELEASE

MISSING MYSTERY OF MAJONI DAS

Organized by Women in Governance (WinG)-India, Women Alliance on Violence Against Women and Family members of Majoni Das

20th February 2013 at Gauri Sadan, Guwahati

We will not allow Majoni to be the next in the list of   those disappeared from custody mysteriously in this region. The family members have the right to know the whereabouts  and safety of their daughter. The Police should provide the information.  – Bondita Acharya , WinG-India

Guwahati Feb. 20, 2013 Enforced disappearances have been a very severe and a common human rights issue especially in North East India. The special powers entrusted upon the armed police and Police administration either by AFSPA or other draconian laws like UAPA has led to severe violation of human rights  of common people resulting into disappearances, extrajudicial killings, mental harassment, rape as well as sexual assault.

Majoni Das, a woman activist, teacher, writer from Sibsagar has been a victim of enforced disappearance in suspicion of having links with insurgent groups. Majoni Das, D/O Mr. Dimbeswar Das aged 30 was an active member women movement Nari Adhikar Suraksha Samiti (NASS) and also involved with fortnightly news paper namely AMI. Due to the poor financial condition of the family she was working with Purva Bharati Educational Trust, Jorhat for last 13 months as a warden of the hostel run by Purva Bharati Educational Trust, Jorhat Assam. On 6th February 2013 she went to her parent’s home at Demow, Sibsagar district, Assam to attend some family function. When she reached home local police sent messages to her several times to come over to Sibsagar SP office. She informed her colleagues about the calls and sounded very worried and tensed. On 8th February Pritam Das police officer of Nitai Pukhuri outpost along with a lady police officer came to their house to detain her. At that time she was not at home and then they left a message for her to come over to SP office in Sibsagar. On 9pm at that night she informed two of her neighbors that she would visit the SP office the next day. On 10th February morning around 9 am she left home to meet SP of Sibsagar district and since then she is missing.

 

Later FIR was filed in Jorhat PS by the Purva Bharati Educational Trust and in Demow PS by family members. Meanwhile the family and hostel authority made several visits to the SP office in Sivsagar requesting police to trace Majoni. SP informed that Majoni has joined the underground armed group United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and left for Nagaland. Police also instructed the father of Majoni to visit Nagaland and trace her.

 

Police is not revealing any information about her; the reason why police wanted her to report to the SP office is not clear and they are giving different sorts of answers which is making the case complex. Meanwhile in an attempt to gain public support, police reported the case to media branding the she has joined ULFA and left home on her way to Myanmar via Nagaland. Family is worried about her whereabouts as in several such missing cases earlier the missing person was found dead or involuntary disappeared.

 

The question arises whether Police administration is responsible for the sudden disappearance of Majoni Das or was it her choice? The answer is still a mystery. But whatever be the answer it should be backed by certain evidences which needs to be transparent to the family members.

 

We urge the following demands :

 

1.      Police should immediately disclose information on whereabouts of Majoni Das and         present her to the family members.

2.      Police should step up the investigation and provide updated information about the process of investigation.

3.      Put an immediate end to the continuous harassment of the family members by the police officials.

4.      Effective protection to the members of the family of Majoni Das.

5.      Immediate action against the senior police officials of the Sibsagar district for their negligence of duty to disclose the whereabouts of Majoni Das.

6.      Immediate action against the senior police officials of the Sibsagar district who pressurised the family members to talk to members of Underground Group and also to go to Mon district of Nagaland to trace Majoni Das.

7.      Ensure legal support to the family members for the case.

8.      Ensure the safety of all colleagues and associates of Majoni Das during the  follow up.

9.      Police (Superintendent of Police of Sibsagar District) should provide explanation for calling Majoni Das repeatedly to his office without proper notice.

10.  As Majoni Das belongs to SC community, the FIR should be changed under the provision of SC/ST PoA Act.

 

Bondita Acharya  and Anjuman Ara Begum ,  WinG-India Phone: 98643233379954082155

Bharati Hazarika , sister of  of Majoni Das-7896065140


 

 

 

Anjuman Ara Begum

Guwahati, Assam, India

Phone: +91-9954082155 (M)
Skype: anjumanarabegum

 

 

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