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Cop’s death remains an enigma after one year

SHILLONG: On the first death anniversary of P.J. Marbaniang, officer in charge of Patharkhmah police outpost on January 24, there are still more questions than answers.
A year after the mysterious death of the police officer, the relatives still want the truth to be revealed as  they have not accepted the findings of the SIT which concluded the officer’s death as suicide.
While the mother of late Marbaniang placed flowers at the grave of her late son at the cemetery at Nongrah on Sunday afternoon, the widow and other relatives will hold special prayers both at the residence and at the cemetery on Monday.
When contacted on Sunday, both the mother and the widow of the late officer said they were eager to know the truth behind his death. They are also waiting for the verdict of the Court in the case.
The police officer was found lying in a pool of blood on January 24 at around 8:50 PM with bullet wounds on the head, a day after he had detained 32 coal laden trucks which violated the NGT ban on coal transportation.
There is discrepancy related to the death of the police officer as earlier, the doctor at Nongpoh CHC said that the death occurred at 8:50 PM, while the report of SIT, quoting GNRC, Guwahati, said the officer was declared dead at 3:12 AM on January 25 after he was admitted at 12:20 AM at GNRC.
Another difference was on the nature of the wound as the doctor at Patharkhmah PHC had observed that the injury was from the back of the head and the doctor stuck to her observation as per the report of SIT.
Sources said that while the family including the mother of the victim pleaded for an independent inquiry or probe by CBI, police should have agreed to this suggestion to unravel the truth instead of a police team inquiring into the death of one of its own personnel which is bound to be under public scanner on the question of how independent the probe would be.
Sources pointed out that the police personnel at Patharkhmah did not preserve the crime scene and no action was taken against those who hurriedly washed the place of occurrence.
Moreover, the blood socked uniform which the officer was wearing on the fateful day went missing as it was not collected by the police from GNRC.
After the plea of the mother of the police officer for a CBI inquiry, the High Court of Meghalaya during the hearing on January 13 asked both the petitioner and the State government to apprise the Court of any order passed by the Sessions Court, Nongpoh related to the case.
The High Court also referred to its order passed on October 27, 2015, “that several flaws so contended by N. Syngkon, counsel for the petitioner, can be effectively put up before the Court of Sessions at the time of consideration of the charge”.
According to the High Court, it was clear under the CrPC that if the concerned Court of Sessions is not satisfied with the charge sheet submitted by the concerned authority for reason that there are several flaws in the charge sheet, the Court of Sessions can pass appropriate order for further investigation or any order which deems appropriate.

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