Magisterial probe on into 16 May murder of civilian by army in Pumao: DC

[Staff Reporter]
LONGDING, Jun 4: Longding Deputy Commissioner Chesta Yadav has informed that a magisterial inquiry is currently on into the 16 May Pumao village incident in which a 60-year-old civilian, Lamdaan Lukham, was shot dead and several others were injured in firing by jawans of the 19th Sikh Regiment.
Speaking to this daily, the DC on Thursday informed that the magisterial inquiry was ordered on 18 May and it is headed by an APCS cadre circle officer from the circle headquarters.
“We have given her six weeks’ time, and she has already started the inquiry,” the DC said.
It has been 19 days since the gruesome incident took place at Pumao village.
Following the incident, the DC and the Director General of Police, RP Upadhyaya, had both stated that a judicial inquiry would be initiated into the case.
However, Longding JMFC Epi Kapu turned down the district magistrate’s order asking her to conduct a judicial inquiry into the case.
“We initially announced judicial inquiry, but then on 17 May we received a letter from the JMFC, wherein she refused to take up the inquiry, stating that as a JMFC she is governed by the high court and she can take action only on orders from either the high court or the district judge.
“Our intention was to conduct an independent inquiry, so our first instance was to have a judicial inquiry; but then we realized the fact and so, on 18 May, ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident,” the DC informed.
She further said that the matter has also been conveyed to the Itanagar home branch, the home department, and the chief secretary’s office.
The DC has also forwarded the resolutions and demands placed by various CBOs and student organizations of the district to the home department.
Meanwhile, the families of the deceased and those injured in the incident are yet to receive any compensation from the army.
Earlier, various community-based organizations of the district, along with representatives of village chiefs, GBs, former PRI leaders, and the general public had demanded the arrest of the army jawans involved in the firing and brutal killing of Lukham.
They urged the Longding battalion of the 19th Sikh Regiment to provide a compensation amount of Rs 50 lakhs to the family of the deceased and Rs 10 lakhs to the severely injured Naiwang Wangsu. They also sought an amount of Rs 5 lakhs each as compensation to the other five victims.
They appealed to the state government to provide a government job to one of the kin of the deceased on compassionate ground.
On 18 May, various CBOs and student organizations had taken out a peaceful rally to protest the killing of Lamdaan Lukham.