GUWAHATI: The Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has directed the state government to protect the lives of four RTI activists who have gone into hiding fearing “reprisal” from insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM).
Based on a complaint filed by rights activist, Wahengbam Joykumar Singh, the MHRC directed the state’s Director-General of Police and Special Secretary (Home) to arrange a secure place for sheltering the four activists and look into the matter of alleged threats to their lives.
Earlier, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) transferred three petitions to the MHRC for disposal in connection with the case.
K Enoch, P Johnson, SP Benjamin and PR Amose, all of them from the state’s Senapati district, annoyed the NSCN-IM by filing RTI applications pertaining to some development work initiated by the government.
According to the complaint, some NSCN-IM rebels had abducted Enoch on January 20 last year, tortured him and pressured him to withdraw his RTI application. On learning about the incident, 31 locals of Taphou Phyamai village in Senapati had filed 31 RTI applications in a show of solidarity with the activists.
Singh, who had filed the petition with the NHRC, wrote: “…It is the bounden duty of the respondents to protect and secure the life and limb of the citizens and (as) such, the Authority concerned may provide dwelling rooms/houses to the victims/RTI users at some secure place like 1st Manipur Rifles/2nd Manipur Rifles complex, guesthouse or some other secured places along with foodgrains till the amicable settlement of the case.”
Viewing the matter with all seriousness, the MHRC directed the DGP and the Special Secretary to find out a safe location to lodge the activists and secure their right to life as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.