Tension escalates along Assam-Mizoram border at Dholai over ‘custody’ death

Border tension escalated at Dholai along the Aizawl-Silchar highway due to the death of a murder accused in Aizawl Central Jail on Wednesday resulting in stones being pelted at trucks registered in Mizoram on Thursday, police said.

A senior police person said that though the Meitei community in the Dholai town of Cachar district did not block roads, tension prevailed in the area. “We have advised oil tankers not to ply to Assam as the situation is volatile,” he said.

Trouble began when K Robin Singh (48), a resident of Dholai Ramprashadpur, Cachar district, the driver of the oil tanker, was found unconscious near Lengpui village on National Highway 306 by police officials from the nearby Sairang police station. The police were informed over phone early in the morning.

Singh succumbed to his injuries while being brought to the Aizawl Civil Hospital and was declared ‘brought dead’. Police launched investigation into the incident and arrested Nripen Singh (50), a resident of Dholai, Cachar district, and helper of Robin Singh, after the suspect absconded for over 12 hours. Police reports said that the accused was thoroughly interrogated by the Sairang Police when he allegedly admitted that he had hacked the deceased by using a machete inside their vehicle near Buichali Bridge as the victim had insulted him in Mizo and Meitei languages in a drunken condition and refused to pay money for his meal.

The accused was produced before a judicial court in Aizawl, which remanded him in judicial custody after thorough interrogation. His statement was duly recorded, the reports said, adding that he was sent to the central jail at Tanhril, near Aizawl on February 1. Reports said Nripen died by suicide by hanging himself inside his cell. A jail warden found him at around 6 am on Wednesday.
“He was lodged at 7 Ward ‘D’ on his admission to Jail on February 1, but was then transferred to “Punishment Cell – B” as he hit 2 of his cellmates with a brick on the night of February 2 who were later referred to the Civil Hospital,” a senior police official said.

Lalmawizuala, Judicial Magistrate First Class, Aizawl Judicial District conducted inquest over the body of Nripen Singh on the spot and also conducted necessary inquiry.

Autopsy was conducted at the Civil Hospital in Aizawl, after which the body was handed over to his relatives. Autopsy was again conducted on the body at the Silchar Medical College, but Nripen’s family refused to accept his body till 1 am insisting that he was killed when in custody. He was cremated on Friday afternoon.
The Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union alleged that Nripen died in police custody after he was attacked by local civil society members.

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