Major General Mohanty Seeks Time for Probe Into Rapes

Rape accused commits suicide

Amid the continuing brawl between civil society members, district administration, police and the Indian army authority centering on the alleged rape and molestation of three women at Sarthe Tokbi in east Karbi Anglong on April 7, General Officer Commanding of Red Horn Division, Major General CP Mohanty, visited Diphu and held a closed door meeting with various women organizations and members of civil society at the Diphu Tourist Lodge camp of 8JAT regiment.

The move came as part of the Defense Ministry’s independent probe into the case. Colonel Ganesh Kumar is the investigating officer.

Foiling all efforts of the media to inquire into the highly charged meeting between the army authority and the agitating civil society leaders, high profile defense officials left Diphu after completing the hour long meeting.

Pratima Enghipi, General Secretary of Karbi Nimso Chingthur Asong who was present in the meeting told the media that the army has assured them that the investigation will be completed by April 11 and the two prime accused will be formally arrested for legal proceedings.

“The district administration is consuming too much time in initiating action which indicates they are trying to hide something from the public; if something concrete doesn’t take place after the time schedule, a massive agitation will be launched,” Seema Ronghangpi, president BJP Mohila Morcha declared before the press.

It may be mentioned here that a few hours after the departure of General Officer Commanding of Red Horn Division Major General CP Mohanty, one of the rape accused jawans of 8 JAT regiment identified by Diphu police as Satyabir Dara of the regiment shot himself below his Adams apple with his service SLR, he was immediately rushed to Diphu Civil Hospital where he was declared dead.

Later S P Karbi Anglong MJD Mahanta later told the media that the deceased hails from Haryana and the authority was zeroing in on him along with another jawan for formal arrest when the incident took place; he mentioned that the body will be examined medically.

It may be mentioned here that two separate cases have been registered at Dokmoka police station in connection with the triple rape incident on April 8 after the incident which took place on April 6.

A massive protest took place in Dokmoka on April 11 where thousands of students and civil society members demonstrated in front of the army camp. The protest demonstration turned violent when the angry stone pelting mob tried to storm inside the army camp by destroying fortified bunkers and watch towers; a police counter action consisted of charging the crowd with teargas shells, batons and rubber bullets fired in the air. A number of school children and 9 police personnel received injuries.

Meanwhile several civil society and student organizations demanded withdrawal of the army from Karbi Anglong, calling the Army an agency of terror. A joint memorandum was sent to the Union Home Minister on this matter through the Deputy Commissioner on April 10.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.