He submits memorandum to Chief Minister on behalf of student's father

Loitam Rajeshkumar, the father of Manipuri student Richard Loitam, who died on April 17 under mysterious circumstances in Bangalore, has appealed to the Karnataka government to order a CBI probe into the matter and arrest the culprits.

A memorandum in this regard was submitted to Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda on Monday through M. Narasingh, the former Art and Culture Minister of Manipur.

A student of Acharya's NRV School of Architecture, 19-year-old Richard died in his sleep on April 17.

While Richard's family and friends alleged that he was beaten to death by two of his seniors, the police have maintained that the boy died of injuries he sustained in a road accident two days before his death, and registered a case of unnatural death. However, following public outcry and an opinion among forensic experts that the boy could have been beaten to death by more than two students (based on the nature of wounds sustained), the police have now registered a case of murder. However, no arrests have been made.

Addressing mediapersons on Tuesday, Mr. Narasingh, who is also the Manipur State secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI), said he met the Chief Minister on Monday and apprised him of the series of events that resulted in the student's death.

“It is evident that Richard Loitam died because of criminal negligence by the college authorities and every attempt is being made to cover up their negligence. We are afraid justice will be suppressed by money and muscle power. The case smacks of communalism and anti northeast-ism and justice cannot be expected from a prejudiced investigation,” he said.

He demanded the arrest of suspects who allegedly assaulted Loitam causing his death, the college authorities including the dean, principal, chief warden, warden, hostel doctor and director (Placement Cell). “This is required to avoid any tampering and destruction of evidence. The most surprising fact is that the college authorities did not even inform the local guardian, Sanju, about Richard's death,” he said.

Assurance

Mr. Narasingh said the Chief Minister's response was encouraging. “He has assured us that he is serious about the case and will do everything to get justice for Loitam's parents,” he said. “The Chief Minister said he would meet students from the northeast to pump up their confidence and to instil a sense of security in them.”