Following the directions from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Ministry of Defence paid compensation of Rs 5 lakh in a case of death in army custody.
It was stated that on 9th March, 2011 at about 12:30 p.m. Capt. Huska Sema of 16 Dogra, Camp Thajuwary, handed over Thangben's dead body at PS Diyngmukh.
According to the FIR, Thangben was inside a house, which was locked from outside. The lock was broken by Army personnel and the deceased was brought out for questioning. The moment he sat in the vehicle parked about 100 yards away he became unconscious. He was taken to the Primary Health Centre, Diyngkukh, where he was declared dead.
However, according to another FIR registered in the matter on a joint complaint by the brother-in-law of the deceased, Thangben was picked up by Army personnel of Thaijuwary Camp in his village and later killed under mysterious circumstances.
The post-mortem report did not reveal any injury on the person of the deceased. On viscera examination, the Additional Commissioner of Dima Hasao, District Haflong, in his magisterial enquiry report concluded that Thangben died in Army custody on way to the Primary Health Centre, Diyngmukh.
There was no evidence that the deceased was tortured and exact cause of death might be known only after the chemical analysis report. After examining the viscera report, the Board of Doctors opined that cause of death was vegal inhibition, which might be due to anger, fright, dread or any other emotional excitement.
The NHRC sought opinion of Dr. N.K. Aggarwal, Prof. & Head, Department of Forensic Medicine, UCMC & GTB Hospital, an Expert on the Panel of the Commission. He opined that there was bilateral periorbital contusion and blood clots were found in the abdominal peritoneal cavity. These findings did not co-relate with the cause of death and could be due to any blunt trauma.
The Commission considered both the reports and the material on record. It observed that the death of Thangben had taken place while in the custody of Army officials and thus his human rights were violated. It issued a show cause notice why monetary relief may not be recommended to be paid to the next of kin of the deceased.
Having received no reply on merit, the Commission observed that it appeared the Government had nothing to say in the matter. Therefore, it recommended through the Secretary, Ministry of Defence that the Government of India
pay Rs.5 Lakh as interim relief to the next of kin of the deceased and also called for the proof of payment.
In response, the Ministry of Defence has submitted the compliance report along with the proof of payment paid on 14th August, 2013 to Pelong Kemprai, father of the deceased.