NSCN (IM) clarifies July 7 torture incident

DIMAPUR, JULY 11 (MExN): Drawing attention to the press statement issued by DNSU condemning the physical assault on two students by its cadres on July 7, the NSCN (IM) on Wednesday clarified that the two boys were taken into custody as an “accused” and not as students. 

Briefing media of the incident, NSCN (IM) CAO UT-1 said that its authority had acted basing on complaint filed by one Imtiwati alleging theft of money from his house by the two boys – Mhakio Lotha of St. Stephen’s Higher Secondary School, Dimapur and T. Luthong Tikhir of Government High School, Lengrijan. The CAO said the owner of the house filed the complaint on the strength of an account given by his domestic helper who said that the two boys broke the locker and took away the cash. The domestic helper had reportedly asked for his share of cash but the two boys refused saying that it was too early to be giving him cash as they could be easily caught. 

The NSCN (IM) admitted that the two boys were beaten with stick while being kept in its custody on Saturday and released on Sunday. It said that according to the attendance record of the two boys at their respective schools both of them were present on Friday. The theft was said to have taken place between 10:30 am to 12 noon on Friday. While Mhakio attended full class till 2 pm, T. Luthong Tikhir got half holiday and class was over by 10 am. 

Taking into account such records, the NSCN (IM) said that the evidence of Mhakio being involved in the theft was weak but didn’t rule out the chance of Luthong being involved. However, the NSCN (IM) said that the domestic helper stated that he was an eyewitness to the cash being stolen by the two boys. Owing to the difference in the version of the domestic helper and the school attendance records, the NSCN (IM) said it was still verifying the facts since the case turned out to be complicated and the verdict was yet to be pronounced. The NSCN (IM) said the verification of school records was jointly done with DNSU. 

The NSCN (IM) also said that its intention was not to hurt anybody or organisation but was only acting on the basis of the complaint it received. It appealed the public not to doubt its credibility over the issue.

Meanwhile, the families of the two boys had filed FIR against Imtiwati on Tuesday at West Police station but the case was forwarded to Women Cell since it was a juvenile case. The boys were interrogated at the women cell on Wednesday. It was learnt that Imtiwati had filed a counter FIR with the state Police late Wednesday evening. After that the police had raided the houses of the two boys but no cash was recovered.