Rape & murder in Cachar
Three arrested on charges of being involved in the rape and murder of a minor in Dwarbond produced before CJM court at Silchar and (right) members of the Hmar community with placards protesting outside the office of Cachar DC on Saturday. Image credit – Northeast Now

Various organizations of the Hmar community staged protest at Silchar on Saturday demanding capital punishment to the culprits involved in the rape & murder of a Hmar girl at Dwarbond.

The protest was spearheaded by the Hmar Students’ Association.

A large number of people from the Hmar community chanted slogans outside the Cachar deputy commissioner’s office during the protest.

The protestors demanded that all the culprits, involved in the rape and murder of 17-year-old Maria Sungte (name changed), be immediately arrested and the family of the victim be provided a compensation of Rs 20 lakh.

Also read: Cachar rape case: Prime accused commits suicide

Dwarbond is located under the Dholai Assembly constituency in Cachar district.

Meanwhile, when the protest was going on, three accused – Biswajit Das, elder brother of the prime accused Rajen Das (who has committed suicide on Thursday); Shishir Das and Samiran Das – were produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court here.

Also read: Assam: 17-year-old Hmar girl raped & murdered in Cachar, no FIR lodged  

The placards of the protestors read as ‘We want justice’, ‘Hang the gang of rapists’, ‘Punish the guilty’, ‘Compensate the family of rape victim’ and so on.

The protestors, while appreciating the efforts of the Assam police for putting three of the accused behind the bars, demanded arrest of the few others who are on the run.

Speaking to Northeast Now, vice-president of the Hmar Students’ Association of Barak Valley, Lalsiemthar Hmar said, “We have gathered here to protest and demand justice of the victim, who was killed in a gruesome manner in a remote area at Dwarbond.”

“We demand that the culprits be identified and given capital punishment for such a dastardly act as per law,” Hmar added.

The Hmar organizations submitted a memorandum to the Assam, chief minister through the Cachar deputy commissioner demanding compensation to the victim’s family.

“We want compensation of Rs 20 lakh to the family of the victim as the parents of the minor girl are poor and stay in an interior land-locked area,” said Hmar.

Dr. VL Pulante, state president of the Hmar National Union, speaking to Northeast Now, said, “We appreciate the efforts made by Assam police who have rounded up three accused in this case within a short period.”

“Those who are still absconding need to be arrested as early as possible. We want to know what exactly had happened on that dreadful evening,” Pulante.

Biswajit Das, one of the three arrested and the elder brother of the prime accused (who has committed suicide), told Northeast Now, “None of the three (arrested) of us have anything to do with what the crime my younger brother has committed.”

“We only know that last Wednesday, he left home at 3 pm for Bangalore in search of work,” he added.

“I even called him in the evening but he didn’t pick up the phone, for which, I thought he might be on his way of boarding the train.”

“I never thought he could do anything as such as he is married and worked as a mason in our Dwarbond area only.”

Biswajit Das further said “only those who were with him (prime accused Rajen Das) on that day would be able to tell in details about what had happened.”

“My brother used to drink but nothing is known to me how and why he had reached the locality,” he further said.

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Aniruddha Laskar

Aniruddha Laskar is the Chief of Bureau, South Assam &and Mizoram. He can be reached at - anilaskar@gmail.com

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