Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has sought a CID inquiry into the alleged encounter of a wrong person in Udalguri district on February 24.
A magisterial inquiry into the killing of the man the police claimed was a dacoit is already under way .
Ordering the CID inquiry to “ascertain the factual details of the incident”, Chief Minster asked the Director-General of Police, G.P. Singh, to ensure the completion of the probe within two weeks.
A statement from the Chief Minister’s office issued late Monday evening said the inquiry was “in view of an incident that took place in Udalguri district involving the death of a dacoit” and injury to two police personnel — Sub-inspector Hira Jyoti Pegu and constable Sukumar Barman.
On February 25, the police said a planned robbery by “veteran dacoit” Kenaram Basumatary was foiled near No. 1 Dhansirikhuti Daifang village under Rowta police station of Udalguri the previous night.
One of two persons on a motorcycle without a registration number opened fire at a police team that had laid an ambush near the village. Two policemen and one of the riders were hit in the exchange of fire while the rider escaped, the police claimed.
The injured person was taken to the hospital where he was declared ‘brought dead’. The body was handed over to a woman who identified the deceased as his son, Kenaram, a surrendered member of the National Democratic Front of Boroland, a disbanded extremist outfit.
His last rites were performed at Natun Panbari village under the Orang police station on February 24 night, the police said.
But on February 25, a family from Jengrenpara village in the adjoining Baksa district reached the office of the Udalguri Superintendent of Police, claiming the person killed in the “encounter” was Dimbeshwar Muchahary alias Gobla. The family said the police shot him down in a case of mistaken identity.
Dimbeshwar was also wanted for a series of armed robberies, the police said.
The family petitioned the local authorities for the exhumation of his body. It was exhumed in the presence of a magistrate four days after the incident.
“DNA profiling is being done to verify the claim regarding the identity of the deceased,” a police officer said.
According to a public-interest litigation filed by a Delhi-based lawyer-activist in the Gauhati High Court a year ago, Assam recorded several incidents of police encounters after Mr Sarma took charge as the Chief Minister in May 2021.
In an affidavit on June 20, the Assam government told the high court that 54 people were killed in police action since May 2021.