Monday, January 10, 2011

Testimony of Mrs. N. Babita Devi

My name is Mrs N. Babita Devi, I am 36 years old and I am staying at Tera Bazar. I have been staying at my parental home for the past 4-5 years. I live with my parents and we have seven family members (father, mother, two younger brothers, my son and my daughter). One of my brothers worked as a mason and other one is not at home today.
In the month of April 2010, one evening suddenly a team of state police personals came to my house, they also brought with them two boys,( who is not known to me). The police came straight to my house and asked me where my brother was and where is the weapon (Gun) he had kept in my house. They told me that the two boys they have brought were my brother’s accomplish, whom they said is working for an underground organization. I told them that my brother was not at home he has just gone out and I don’t have any knowledge about his UG connection and the weapon that they were looking for. Then they turn to my old father and in a harsh tone they threatened him to bring out his son and the weapons, otherwise the consequences will be bad. They use many indecent words and threatened my father by putting the barrel of the gun to my father’s forehead.
They entered our house and searched for weapons, in the process they pull out all the cloths and other things from the almirah and from the beds, they also scattered around other household items. One of the police personal called my son who is 13 years old and showed a gun to him and asked, if he knew where the gun of that type was kept in the house. My son told them he doesn’t know anything about the gun or the place where it is kept. After about 2-3 hours of searching, harassing and threatening they went back. They told me to come to the police station the next day.
My brother (they were looking for) was at home till the morning of that very day, but from that day onwards and after the incident I don’t know where he is and what had happen to him. The next day I along with one of my cousin sister went at the police station to meet the officer-in-charge (OC). After reaching the police station the OC called us in and talked to us. He told us to bring my brother along with the weapon he was using and make him to surrender to them. This will be good for my brother and for my family as a whole.
I told the OC, Sir, “I don’t have any knowledge about my brother working for any UG group and the weapon he is said to be using. He was at home till yesterday morning but he has not returned home till now. If I find him I will certainly bring him here”. We came back home after meeting the OC of the police station. I, as well as my family members are shocked by what has happened to us and the way the policeman have treated us at my own home.
A few days later another team of police commando came to my house and again the same thing happened. Again and again they searched our house and scattered around all our household items. Every time they threatened us, and abused us. On one occasion they even shot (blank fire) 3-4 bullets at our gate. The last time they came to my house was on 22nd Nov.2010, this time many of the policeman that came to my house were in a drunken state, they use a lots of abusive language, they have no respect for my old father and mother and one of them even scattered the Rice from the rice-pot (chengfu, traditional Manipuri rice pot) that was kept in the kitchen.
From the very day the police came to our house our family is humiliated and suffered, both mentally and emotionally. Today my father has become mentally unstable and he could not sleep and eat properly, my mother has depression problem. My son does not want to stay at home and he is afraid of staying and sleeping at our house. Today he does not sleep at our house but stay at my uncle’s house. I am also very afraid of staying at home, especially at night, whenever I saw any policeman I feel as if I was going to faint. My daughter who is just 11 years old feels very bad about what happen to us. She does not want to go to school because her friends kept on asking her about the matter.
Another very sad thing is that, today, the local people have looked upon us in a very different way. They don’t want to come at our house and they seem to have many suspicions on us. Some local people use to say that, even the small wooden house that is constructed is said to be built by the money that my brother had collected illegally from others. In fact this small house is built by our savings and the little hard earned sweat money of my brother who works as a mason.

Testimony from Wide Angle, Members organization of NATT