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Army’s systematic custodial murders exposed : Army abducted Lt. Col. Dharamvir reveals all in affidavit to HC

IMPHAL | Jul 28 : Lt. Colonel Dharamvir Singh of 1st Para Commandos, (Special Forces) has been in active service for the last 32 years. His army record made available to this reporter mentions that he is a well decorated officer and has served in insurgency prone areas, was involved in combating LTTE cadres at Sri Lanka, he also fought in the Kargil war and had captured a key position.

His records have also found mentions in national papers commending him for risking his life to save two maintenance men who had fallen down in a manhole.

This particular event happened at Mumbai in 2009 near US Club at Colaba when Dharamvir was a major and walking back home the record said.

It said he had pulled out two cleaners who went down a manhole and fell unconscious due to toxic fumes. The papers also said Dharamvir had displayed exemplary courage by pulling out both workers from the manhole and he himself was admitted in the ICU for several days, narrowly escaping death from poisoning by the toxic fumes.

It may be recalled Dharamvir was serving as officer commanding, 3 CISU at M Sector, Imphal when he was allegedly arrested on July 1 last as per a directive of a colonel under the 3-Corps, Dimapur, Col. Ranjan Singh.

Dhamramvir’s wife submitted an affidavit to the High Court of Manipur on his behalf on July 20, 2018 which mentions a few possible reasons why he was put in military custody.

The affidavit said Dharamvir had written a complaint to the Army authorities in September 2016 about the Corps Intelligence and Surveillance Units’s extortion and fake encounter activities perpetrated on innocent individuals from Manipur. He stated that Manipuris were picked up from various places and murdered in cold blood. However, the Army authorities had mounted pressure on him and he was made to withdraw the complaint letter on assurance that suitable action will be taken.

"Whistle blower Lt. Col. Dharamvir victimized by Army authorities for seeking justice, give statements to court regarding killings perpetrated by Army personnel"

Afterwards, some senior officers had turned vindictive and there has been an organized campaign to harass him, the affidavit said.

It further states that his arrest on July 1 by army officers in front of his family and further detention for almost 10 days was a vindication of this theory. The affidavit appealed to the Court that this harassment is feared will continue in future and there is a potential threat on Dharamvir’s life and family but prayed the Court to deliver justice to the families of the murdered victims.

The affidavit further mentions that only one unit and one particular team of the CISU was responsible for the killings and extortion. It further divulged revealing information on the murder of Phijam Naobi, RK Ranel and Th Prem who were slaughtered behind the unit’s mess in Dimapur. It also details the manner in which Thangjam Satish and another unidentified person wer killed at Masimpur jungle by the same team. It also throws light on the custodial killing of PLA leader Gypsy along with another innocent person.

In total, five persons have been identified and the identities of two other persons are still not known. The affidavit also revealed that one lady along with her child was kidnapped from Dimapur by the same intelligence unit and later released after taking Rs. 1 crore from her family members.

The affidavit also urged the SIT instituted into killing of the three persons to summon the personnel of this particular unit and make them go through an identification parade before the wives who were there at the time of arrest.

It also called for a fresh investigation into the Thangjam Satish killing, and seek inputs of the personnel who were posted in the

CISU during 2009 till 2012 to verify the facts.

Wife of Lt Col Dharamvir, Ranju Singh told IFP, “For my husband, army is religion and we both respect our esteemed organization and never dreamed we would go against the system.

“I am questioning those officers who arrested my husband without any show cause notice,” she said.

When IFP questioned why she did not approach the Army authorities when her husband was allegedly arrested by the Army, she replied: “ My husband was taken away at 6.30 am, till 11 am, my two daughters and I were left alone and helpless. I knew no one here, they should have deputed a lady officer to at least console me and brief me about the situation my husband was in. Do you think I would have gone to the police to lodge an FIR? They are trying to cover up the arrest now.”

Human Rights Activist Babloo"Lies have limits. We cannot build institutions on the basis of lies. Both Herojit and Dharamvir are glaring examples of this simple fact. They may be suppressed for sometime but so long as human conscience is alive many more Herojit’s and Dharamvir’s will speak up and one day the truth will triumph," HRA director Babloo Loitangbam told IFP in a meeting.


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