Developed By: iNFOTYKE
The Mission Statement of the Meghalaya Police goes like this, “We, the Meghalaya Police as Sentinels of Law, envision creation
of a Safe and Secure Society.”
Kudos to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the death of Sub Inspector (late) Pearly Stone Joshua Marbaniang headed by SP (City) Vivek Syiem which has come to a conclusion that pressure was exerted on SI (L) Pearlystone after he detained 32 coal laden trucks at Patharkhmah which compelled him to commit suicide. As a result of the investigation, the SIT arrested five persons on Wednesday Oct 7, 2015 including a Block Development Officer, leaders of an NGO and a govt contractor. I am Pearlystone’s friend who grew up studying together and sharing the same dreams. I have been updating myself on the progress of this case only through the media. But after a long waiting period of 90 days plus an extension period, the SIT has come up with nothing conclusive. I cannot imagine my friend in uniform who was a strong person with impeccable integrity succumbing to pressure from civilian persons. This raises a lot of questions which must be investigated. I can’t help but question the credibility of the investigation and the chain of command and procedural system that has been put in place in the State Police Department. As a build-up to that tragic incident, did the entire burden of responsibility of managing the outpost fall solely on him? Was there a reporting channel for next course of action? Or was he given a ‘dressing down’ or humiliated by his seniors (who were present at the outpost for Republic day) for doing the right thing? One wonders whether his superiors stood by him or whether they reprimanded him for taking the right stand. Was there a proper handing-over of the outpost or was he just sent there as a filler since there was no Officer to man the post? One also needs to question if pressure from five persons was enough to take down one Officer and that too an OC of an outpost? If these are the loopholes and inadequacies in the investigation and the State Police then the safety and fate of all Sub Inspectors of the same State Police is at stake and urgent reforms of the Police Department is imperative. Along with the above discrepancies, the credibility of the investigation can be questioned by the sheer number of inquiries, contradicting reports, the evidence or lack thereof, of not being able to trace the uniform, allegations of tampering of evidence and the duration of the enquiry.
The case became messy when the Forensic team reached after the incident and all evidence was tampered with. Where is the SOP (Standing Operating Procedures) while dealing with their own personnel? Why was it not followed? Is there even an SOP? Or is this the first-of-its kind death in the history of Meghalaya Police? Normally in all such cases relating to the military/ para military/ CRPF, a proper Court of Inquiry (headed by a Senior Officer) is ordered to investigate and question all witnesses and their statements recorded. An all out effort should have been made by the Superintendent of Police of the District to find out why an officer under him was murdered or drove him to commit suicide. To lose one’s life in the police force is a very serious matter. And to add salt to the wounds, the conclusion that he committed suicide was drawn the very next day, even when the uniform he was in, which is a very crucial piece of evidence, remained untraced. Amidst all this confusion and heartache, one wonders, what is the dignity of the uniform earned by inspiring candidates like SI (L) Pearlystone at the North East Police Training Academy? Is this the respect he gets? All this could have been avoided if the system knew exactly what professional guidance and directions to give the young energetic officers and serving personnel who want to play a role in the State forces. Finally, I appeal to the higher authorities to leave no stone unturned to bring justice to SI (late ) P J Marbaniang, so that our faith in the Police Department is restored. Late Pearlystone was a man of integrity and sincerity. He was hardworking, physically and emotionally strong and kept his family happy. I can vouch for that.