GUWAHATI: As Arunachal Pradesh journalist Tongam Rina is awaiting justice in a case pertaining to an abortive bid on her life, it has now emerged that the material evidence and case records have been reported “untraceable”.
The Network of Women in Media, India took strong exception to this. It said this was a grave lapse on the part of the law-enforcement system and did not bode well for the pursuit of justice.
On July 15, 2012, masked gunmen had opened fire on Rina, who is currently the deputy editor of The Arunachal Times, in front of the newspaper’s Itanagar office. The incident was preceded by another attack on the newspaper’s office on April 15 the same year in which five office computers were damaged.
The damaged computers were submitted to the police for investigation, along with CCTV footage of the incident. The police claimed they had submitted the damaged computers and CCTV footage to a local lower court. However, the material evidence has now been reported “untraceable” in the court’s records room.
Rina, who had escaped providentially in the incident, said: “The computers are missing from Itanagar police custody. The police are yet to respond or clarify to any what we published which says a lot.
What surprises me is the apathy of the court and the police. If this happens to us, imagine what happens to common citizens”.
The files containing the case records are reportedly still with the Gauhati High Court. They were sent to the principal bench of Gauhati HC on July 25, 2014, purportedly for some other case, and are yet to be returned. As the proceedings have got delayed, the journalist is yet to give her statement to the court. The alleged perpetrators of the crime, identified, questioned and even charge-sheeted by the police after a year, were let off earlier.