19 AR accused of torturing, harassing villagers

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 28 May: Weeks after the shootout between the Assam Rifles (AR) and suspected militants near Longvi village in Changlang district, resulting in the death of AR jawan Avatar Chakma, the gram panchayat members of Longvi village have accused the 19 AR of summoning the villagers to their outpost camp and torturing and harassing the villagers.

In a letter to the Jairampur ADC, three panchayat members on Thursday claimed that on 22 May, the 19 AR summoned two villagers of Longvi, identified as Jungthey Saikeng (local pastor) and Kessam Bongtai, to interrogate them about the shootout. Instead of interrogating them, the AR personnel took the villagers to the 10 Km area and physically tortured and assaulted them, the PRI members said.

The panchayat members also claimed that the villagers were forced to drink alcohol by the armed forces personnel, who also threatened to shoot the villagers. However, this daily was unable to get any reaction from the AR over the allegation.

It is said that innocent villagers are often caught in the crossfire between militants and the armed forces, and that many of them have been subjected to physical torture instead of being interrogated.