Gyandip Borgohain (35), a tourism entrepreneur based in Demow from Sivasagar District, has been organizing tourist campsites at the Ziro Festival of Music in Arunachal Pradesh for several years. This year was no different. After the festival ended, Gyandip and his team left Ziro on October 7 and traveled to his hometown. He or his colleagues did not know what awaited them.
On the morning of October 8, Borgohain and his team were allegedly brutally tortured at Moran police station for several hours by the officer in charge, Bijoy Daimari, along with three civilians, identified as Manab Hazarika, Papu Dowerah and Dudul Lekharu.
Borgohain and the others also alleged that the police, accompanied by two civilians, kidnapped and sexually assaulted his team, torturing them with guns and police batons for several hours. Also among the victims is the president of the Western Angami Student Association of Nagaland, Kevileto Whiso, who was helping the team organize camping for visitors to the Hornbill Festival.
According to Moran OC Bijoy Daimari, who spoke to the media on October 8, the Borgohain team and his friends allegedly teased and assaulted Daimari’s wife in a restaurant on October 7 evening.
“I agree that we had to use force to make them admit their crime,” Daimari told the media on the morning of October 8.
Later on October 9, Dibrugarh Police Superintendent Shwetank Mishra dispatched Daimari to close to the reserve for his actions against the youths. “There is a departmental investigation against Daimari for the actions he committed against young people. A case has also been filed about it at Demow Police Station,” Mishra said. IsMojo.
However, several local organizations including local branches of the Communist Party of India, All Assam Tai-Ahom Student Union, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba-Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), All Assam Adivasi Student Union, All Deori Student Union, All Mech-Kachari Yuba Parishad and others demonstrated in Demow and Moran demanding the arrest of Daimari, other accused police officials and civilians involved in the alleged torture case. In addition, All Indian Kisan Sabha and Sanmilita Ekya Manch, an umbrella organization, have approached the National Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and Chief Police Officer Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, demanding strict action against the excesses committed by Moran’s police.
Father of a three-month-old baby girl, Borgohain, who is the director of Kite Manja Tours, has been organizing camps for hikers and festival-goers in northeast India for several years. Borgohain said IsMojo This company hires young people from different parts of the region and generally teams up with local communities to ensure that tourists visiting the region have an authentic experience.
“After a successful camping run in Ziro, we were on our way to my hometown with my staff on the evening of October 7. Since we were running late and I didn’t want to bother my family with dinner preparations for the whole team, I called two friends, Partha Jyoti Mech and Simanta Deori, both residents of Demow, to find a restaurant that could serve food to my team,” says Borgohain.
The team dined at the Pacifica Inn, a new highway restaurant, then drove to his home in Demow. “I sat down with my whole team for a while and discussed our plans for upcoming events, then the team went to a small camping area in our own compound to sleep,” said added Borgohain.
While Borgohain’s septuagenarian parents slept, he stayed awake to answer some emails for upcoming assignments.
“Around 3:15 a.m., I heard violent banging on the gate of our house. Me and my brother went to check and we found my friend Partha, whose face was bleeding profusely. I thought maybe he was injured in an accident on the way back,” Borgohain recalled.
Soon, three men in civilian clothes followed a Demow traffic policeman and a policeman in battalion uniform entered his campus and demanded that Borgohain show where his staff slept.
“One of the civilians who accompanied the men pointed out to me the Moran officer in charge who was in civilian clothes. They said we should all go to Demow police station. One of them went to the camping area of our resort and started kicking and waking up my staff,” Borgohain said.
The policeman told Borgohain to bring his own vehicle, then on the way to the police station in Demow, which is barely 800 meters from his house, suddenly informed that they will have to go to the police station in Moran, about 24 kilometers away in Dibrugarh district. “When I could even ask about it, one of the vehicles rushed in with some of my team members,” he added.
At Moran police station, they were all lined up and the officers and the two civilians took turns assaulting them, according to the statement made by Borgohain and his friend, Partha Mech.
“When I went to ask why they were brought to the police station, Daimari kicked me in the groin area,” Borgohain added.
As they were torturing, one of the civilians finally told them that someone from the squad had misbehaved with the policeman’s wife. “We immediately disputed this, but the police officers continued to beat, to hit their private parts,” he added.
Later, on the morning of October 8, Daimari’s wife came to the police station, apparently to identify herself.
“She was visibly influenced. However, we couldn’t understand a word as they spoke in Bodo. But then she shook her head in negative, which gave us great relief,” Borgohain said.
The contractor, however, said the real torture only started after Daimari’s wife visited the police station. The Borgohain team was stripped naked and told to slap their buttocks while a group of police and civilians filmed them. “I was told that if my team or I told anyone about the abduction and the torture, those videos would be broadcast all over every medium and then my career as an entrepreneur would be over,” Borgohain said.
Meanwhile, as crowds began to gather outside the police station to demand their release, Daimari reportedly told Borgohain to reach some sort of compromise.
“Our truck driver was Muslim. He said I could blame the whole incident on him and be cleared of all charges. I didn’t back down,” Borgohain said. “I said whatever crime they thought we had committed; I wanted my team completely out of the way so I asked the police to charge me. My friend Partha also came and offered to be the accused. All this happened while the young trainees of my team as well as the driver were beaten in another cell. We never confessed to any crime,” Borgohain added.
Prior to all this, Partha and his friend Simanta had faced a separate ordeal, when after dispersing from the Pacifica Inn with the team, he received a call from an unknown number saying that a mutual friend of Demow had had an accident in Nahoroni, which is close to Moran.
“Partha proceeded immediately without thinking too much about the call. Here, Daimari, the civilians and another police officer intercepted them. They were beaten on the road by the civilians and the police stomped on their chests several times. They were also hit on their private parts,” Borgohain said. After Partha and Simanta were brought to the police station, they were asked for Borgohain’s address.
Later, Borgohain learned from his sources that while they were having dinner, local henchmen Daimari, allegedly linked to the oil tanker mafia and the illicit liquor mafia, were drinking in the same restaurant, which is owned by the one of the defendants, Papu Dowerah. Borgohain said police officials recorded the attempted assault on Daimari’s wife. “There is nothing on the video that shows me or my team even had a conversation with the officer or his wife. We haven’t even seen them,” Borgohain added.
While Dibrugarh police officials have yet to arrest any of the accused civilians, Borgohain and his team suffered a setback as they prepared for tourist arrivals. “I’m trying to focus on my next mission but with what we’ve been through in the past few days, it will be difficult for us to overcome the trauma. We want quick action against the defendants,” Borgohain added.
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