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Assam court moved over woman activist's disappearance

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Wed, Feb 20, 2013 19:20 hrs

Guwahati, Feb 20 (IANS) 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.



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