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Asian rights body sends missive to Gogoi

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  18 July 2015 12:00 AM GMT

'Custodial death' of woman in Dispur PS

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 17: The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), Hong Kong has sent a missive to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on the issue of, what it said, the custodial death of 39-year-old Victoria Dayoun Kharkongor on July 5, 2015 in Dispur police station which the police termed as a suicide case.

Victoria Dayoun Kharkongor was from Shillong. According to the AHRC, she was a teacher who started her career at a school in Amritsar in 2002 and then in Hederabad where she met her husband. They had a 12-year-old daughter. After leaving her job in Hyderabad, Victoria was teaching in Aruchal Pradesh, but she would frequently visit to Hyderabad to visit her husband.

The AHRC said: "The family of Victoria suspects foul play based on the fact that the police have no proof to substantiate that Victoria was mentally ill, nor do they have any expertise of declaring a person mentally ill. Furthermore, they (family members) noticed an injury around Victoria's neck which doesn't look like a suicide injury. Lastly, the police pick her mother to sign a blank paper. When she questioned this, they replied that they need to write down the list of her daughter's belongings, but she never got the bag containing all her clothes and documents. She only got a mobile phone, a PAN card, her identity card and a railway ticket from Ms Victoria's handbag, which was handed over to her by the police."

On the her last fateful days, according to the AHRC, Victoria was travelling back from Hyderabad by train and halted in Guwahati before she could complete her journey to Shillong to meet her mother. Her last contact with her sister was on July 3 when she informed her sister that she had reached Howrah around 9.05 am after which her cell phone was switched off. It was, according to the AHRC, on July 6 the Laitumkhrah police in Shillong informed the family that they had got a call from Dispur police in Guwahati about the death of Victoria.

When the family members, according to the AHRC, rushed to Dispur police station they were told by the police that Victoria was mentally ill and on July 5 she was wandering around Intertiol Hospital that informed Dispur Police Station of her. Dispur police, according to the AHRC, took her to he police station. Around 10.30 pm, Victoria went to the toilet in the police station, but when she did not come out the police officials broke open the door and found her hanging inside the toilet from the window. Though she was taken to the GMCH, she was declared brought dead, the AHRC said.

The AHRC requested the Chief Minister to ensure fair investigation into the death of Victoria. It also requested the Chief Minister to make the autopsy report available to the family of Victoria at the earliest and that Dispur police should also submit all necessary reports in the court.

The AHRC also sent copies of the missive to the Home Minister, Government of India, Rajth Singh, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, the Guwahati Police Commissioner, the Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court, the chairperson of the Assam Human Rights Commission and others.

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