Mizoram MLA K Pachhunga on Monday wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking his intervention into the death of a 20-year-old Mizo woman in Nagaland.
The woman, who belonged to a security force posted in Nagaland, was found dead in a jungle near their camp in Nagaland on September 3.
The Lunglei South MLA has sought an independent probe to ensure that justice is brought to the victim, who hailed from south Mizoram’s Lunglei district.
In his letter to President Kovind on Monday, MLA Dr. K. Pachhunga said one Jones C. Malsawmkimi, who worked as a medical attendant in Assam Rifles, went missing from her camp at Shukhovi, about 20 km from Dimapur in Nagaland on September 1 around 5 pm.
Three days later, the woman was found dead in a jungle, a few kilometres from their camp on September 3, the letter said.
Following the FIR registered in connection with the alleged murder, at least four suspects were arrested.
However, the ensuing investigation and statement of the suspects claimed the victim to have died of “drug overdose,” it said.
Refuting the “drug overdose” angle, the MLA said in his letter that the victim was well known to him as she happened to be a close friend of her daughter and borne good moral character and claimed she had no history of drug abuse.
The MLA said the forensic photos of her body indicated a sign of physical assault, which hinted at kidnap, rape and murder rather than a case of drug overdose.
“It is most unfortunate and also a cause for concern that armed female personnel met such a miserable end in the vicinity of where she was posted. This incident also speaks in volume about how unsafe the women are in our country,” the letter said.
“I humbly and sincerely beseech your honorable office to kindly look into the matter for a free and fair trial so that justice may be served to the victim,” it said.
The legislator also demanded that pension and other permissible benefits should be given to the bereaved family.
Copies of the letter were also sent to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Defence Minister, Mizoram Governor, Chief Ministers of Mizoram and Nagaland, Chief of Army Staff and Director General of Assam Rifles.
Pachhunga told this correspondent that the 20-year old woman from Lunglawn village, which falls under Lunglei South constituency, joined Assam Rifles as a medical attendant in 2019 and was posted at Assam Rifles Composite Hospital in Dimapur’s Shukhovi at the time of the incident.
She left the hospital around 5 pm on September 1 after completing her daily duty and went missing since then, he said.
On September 3, her body was found in a jungle by the locals and Mizos, who live in the vicinity, he said.
Quoting eyewitnesses, Pachhunga said the victim’s eyes were already removed when her body was recovered, which hinted at “murder.”
He said Nagaland police detained four auto drivers, who claimed that they helped the victim because of “drug overdose.”
Citing that the investigation was “unsatisfactory,” Pachhunga said that as a legislator from the victim’s place he took up the matter to the Indian President to ensure that justice is brought to her.
The victim’s body was brought to her native village on Sunday, he added.