New Delhi: A Manipuri youth, who had been missing since September 8 night from Greater Noida, was found to have been cremated by the local police three days later without informing his family members, even though the family had filed a missing person’s report on September 9.
While three policemen have been suspended for failing to inform the control room about the missing person’s report filed at the police station, the death 22-year-old Pravish Chanam under mysterious circumstances, followed by the cremation of his body “in a hurry”, has created huge outrage in the state.
A candle light protest was also held in the arts faculty of Delhi University on September 15 by the Manipur Students Association Delhi and others seeking justice for Pravish.
According to his brother, Ravi Kant Chanam, Pravish came to Delhi from Hyderabad on September 7 and stayed with a friend in Safdarjang Enclave. He went to attend a music concert in Greater Noida on the night of September 8. Ravi said Pravish was accompanied by his friend and two others to the concert. However, around 9:30 pm he went missing from the venue, following which the friend informed Ravi brother about it.
On not finding him till the next morning, a missing person’s report was filed by the family at the Knowledge Park police station in Gautam Budh Nagar district on September 9.
Ravi said the SHO of the Knowledge Park police station told him on September 13 that Pravish was taken to BR Ambedkar Hospital in Sector 30, Noida, around 10:30 pm on September 8. CCTV footage showed him being brought to the hospital on a stretcher and was seen walking out of the emergency ward of the hospital around 6 am on September 9.
“Pravish again went missing after it,” the brother said in a note released to the press on September 15.
Police then found him in an unconscious state on September 9 near Nithari Market and took him to BR Ambedkar Hospital, where the doctors declared him dead.
Media reports said since the body was not identified for 72 hours, the hospital conducted a post mortem before handing over the body to the police on September 11. The post mortem report said Pravish “died of hemorrhage and head injuries.”
The police from the Sector 20 Chowki, which has jurisdiction over the Nithari Market area, decided to cremate the body without making any attempt to find his family. Ravi later identified his brother from his clothes and the photo of the body taken by the police before cremation.
Following media reports, an internal inquiry was conducted by SSP Luv Kumar who found three policemen guilty. Sub inspector Kishori Raman and constable Sanjeev Kumar of the Knowledge Park police station and sub inspector Rakesh Babu, in charge of the Noida Sector 20 Chowki, were thereafter suspended for negligence and dereliction of duty. Knowledge Park SHO Akhilesh Tripathi has also been transferred for mishandling the case.
However, the family is suspecting foul play and has demanded “a thorough investigation of the incident by the CBI”. Besides submitting a memorandum in this regard to Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh on September 15, on September 20, the family met Manipur BJP MP Bhavananda Singh in New Delhi. They are also likely to meet Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju tomorrow. As per latest information, the Manipur chief minister has asked additional director general of police Pramod Asthana to visit Delhi to get details about the investigation into the case.
Note: An earlier version of this article erroneously said that the family has already met Kiren Rijiju.