My name is Ashangbam ongbi Purnimashi Devi. I am 50 years old, a widow with four children (two sons and two daughters); I live in Takyel Kolom leikai under Patsoi police station, Imphal west district, Manipur. I earn my daily wages by selling vegetables in the near by market for survival. My youngest son is 29 years old and is married and has four children, he works in a saw mill.
This is a incidents which happened to me has scares me till now and I will never forget this incident. In the last week of March 2009 around 5:00 p.m. in the evening, three police commando’s vehicles stopped in front of my house. They entered my house and asked for my youngest son. I told them that he was not at home; they asked me to send him to the commando complex at around 8:00 a.m. next day without fail. I asked them the reason; they told me that it’s related to one underground group. I was shocked hearing what they said; I thought how my innocent son could be involved in these activities. I was anxious to know what was going on and my mind was in chaos. They even tried to beat my daughter in law and used abusive words, but my intervention stopped them. After they left, my son returned home and I narrated all the things that happened. We could not sleep that night thinking of the incident. In the morning we did not send him to commando complex because he was innocent. The next day at around 7 a.m. in the morning, the police commando surrounded our house forcefully took away my son. At that time I was not at home, my daughter in law came searching for me and shared to me of what had happened on the way back home. I went to meet our local MLA and I beg him to save my son’s life, he sends one of his staffs along with me to the commando complex at Minuthong. The Guards did not allowed us to go inside the office, even though they knew that we were sent by the local MLA. I did not know what to do; I broke down and cried in front of the office. I was worried about my son’s life. I prayed to God to save not to kill my child. Meanwhile as I was standing helpless thinking what to do, I saw my son been taken inside the office with his eyes blindfolded and handcuffed from their vehicle (Gypsy). As soon as I saw my son and I ran towards him, they stopped me and did not allowed me to meet him. Abruptly, the social worker named Mirabai came to the commando complex, as soon as I saw her I narrated the incidence to her and beg her to save my son. I hug her and cried pleading of my son’s innocence. She took me inside the office and talked with the officer in-charge who was well known to her, the OC asked one of his constables to release my son. I was very upset when I saw my son and did not know what to do; I beat my son in front of them, He cried at my shoulder and pleaded he did not know anything and that he is innocent hearing this my heart and mind was relief. I took him back home, when we reach home I asked him where they had taken him, he told me that they took him near Ghari which is near the airport, they handcuffed and blindfolded his eyes and asked him to say the name of underground party he was involved with and when he answered he knew nothing, he was beaten up very badly, one of the commandos put his AK rifle into my head and said “let’s kill him”, but one of the commando personnel intervened saying that “I think he is innocent person, let us take him back to office first”. So, they brought him back to the commando complex. After they release him, on the next day they demanded for Rs.5000/- for his release. My son also told me that they took his photo, name and address before they release him. So, I was scared that as they have his photo they might harass him any time on the way, I was thinking if I hand over the amount then they might withdraw the case. So, any how I collected the money and went to the office to give the money and requested them to withdraw the case, the officer told me that they do not need to withdraw the case. After that incident, till now they don’t disturb us again as before.
Because of this incident, our life become economically miserable but still now I cannot stay peacefully and whenever I saw any vehicle passes by or stop in our locality I always fear that police commando are coming to re-arrest my son.
Today, when I share the incident and all my worries, I feel a bit relaxed and feel lighter in my heart.