In Assam many cases of disappearance of women from police custody have been recorded. We express our anguish over the disappearance of Majoni Das a teacher, activist and hostel warden who went missing since February 10, 2013 while visiting her parental residence at 1 No. Udaipur Gaon, Demow, Sibsagar, about 85km from Jorhat, Assam. Before her disappearance she received calls from police department due to which she was very worried.
We and the family members of Majoni Das urge for the following:
1. Police should immediately disclose information on whereabouts of Majoni Das
and present her to the family members.
2. Police should step up the investigation and provide updated information about
the process of the investigation.
3. Put an immediate end to the continuous harrasment of the family members by
the police officials.
4. Effective protection to the members of the family of Majoni Das.
5. Immediate action against the senior police officials of the Sibsagar district for
their negligence of duty to disclose the whereabouts of Majoni Das.
6. Immediate action against the senior police officials of the Sibsagar district
who pressurised the family members to talk to members of Underground
Group and also to go to Mon district of Nagaland to find out Majoni Das.
7. Ensure legal support to the family members for the follow-up of the case.
8. Ensure the safety of all colleagues and associated of the girl during the legal
9. Police (Superintendent of Police of Sibsagar District) should provide
explanation for calling the girl repeatedly to his office without proper notice.
10. As the girl belongs to SC community, the FIR should be changed under the
provision of SC/ST PoA Act.
Case Details: Majoni Das, D/O Mr. Dimbeswar Das aged 30 has been working with Purva Bharati Educational Trust, Jorhat, Assam for last 13 months as a warden of the hostel run by them. On 6th February 2013 she went to her parent’s home at Demow, Sibsagar district, Assam to attend some family function. When she reached home local police sent messages to her several times to come over to Sibsagar SP office. She informed her colleagues about the calls and sounded very worried and tensed. On 8th February Pritam Das police officer of Nitai Pukhuri outpost along with a lady police officer came to their house to detain her. At that time she was not at home and then they left a message for her to come over to SP office in Sibsagar. On 10th February morning around 9 am she left home to meet SP of Sibsagar district and since then she is missing.
Later FIR was filed in Jorhat by the Purva bharati Educational Trust and in Demow, Sibsagar by family members. Meanwhile the family and hostel authority made visits to the SP office in Sivsagar requesting police to trace Majoni. SP informed that Majoni has joined the underground armed group United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and left for Nagaland. Police also instructed the father of Majoni to visit Nagaland and trace her.
Police is not revealing any information about her; the reason why police wanted her to report to the SP office is not clear and they are giving different sorts of answers which is making the case complex. Meanwhile in an attempt to gain public support, police reported the case to media branding the she has joined ULFA and left home on her way to Myanmar via Nagaland. Family is worried about her whereabouts as in several such missing cases earlier the missing person was found dead or involuntary disappeared.
Assam is under active armed conflict since 1958 and more than 30 armed groups are active in this state. Several factions of armed groups are in peace talks with the government while different factions are reportedly making fresh recruitment. ULFA is an armed group active in the state since 1979. However several of its top leaders were arrested in last 7 years and they engaged in peace talks with the government after being bailed out. Counter insurgency operations against this group are not free from human rights abuses. Several incidents of disappearance from the custody of police or army have been reported earlier and in few cases compensation was paid to the victims or their families.