Monika Khangembam


IMPHAL,  Free Press April 24: A new twist in the Loitam Richard killing case popped up today, with the father of the first year engineering student claiming that Richard’s dead body was shifted to the Hospital mortuary at 1:30am of April 18 which conflicts with (L) Richard’s hostel warden’s report to the police.

In his FIR, the hostel warden had said that he was informed that Richard was bleeding from his nose at 1:30pm of April 18, after which he called the college doctor who confirmed his death.

Richard Loitam of Uripok Yambem Leikai, an Architecture Engineering first year student of the Acharya NRV School of Architecture, Bangalore was reportedly beaten to death on April 18 night in his hostel.

Speaking at a press conference at his Uripok Yambem Leikai residence today Dr L Rajesh outlined his findings in his recent trip to Bangalore and to the institute.

Dr Rajesh urged the state government to give adequate pressure to the Karnataka government for solving the case and to book the culprits.

While negating the various news reports regarding the cause of his son’s death Loitam Rajesh said, his son is an avid sports lover while adding that there is no way he could have changed the TV channel while everyone was watching an IPL match.

Quite contrary to the warden’s FIR which said, “As per his (Richard) room-mates I (warden) came to know that Richard met with an accident on April 16, 2012, he got his treatment in Sapthagiri Hospital on April 16”, Rajesh claimed that his son had met with an accident along with a friend while driving a Pleasure moped and had recieved minor injuries on April 15. He along with his friend had received first aid from Sapthagiri Hospital on April 15, he added.

He further said his wife had received a call on April 16 morning from his son, telling her that he had lost his mobile and that he would like to buy a mobile.

His wife sent the money the same day. Richard didn’t call them the next day on April 17. Anxious since he had just lost his mobile, he contacted a family friend Nazim whose nephew also studied in the same college as Richard late in the evening at around 9 pm.

The nephew told Rajesh that he was not in the hostel, but informed that Richard was in the hostel as he was having an intern paper the next day. Thinking that he might be busy with his preparation, they felt satisfied, however the next day at around 3:30pm on April 18, the college doctor called the family up and informed about Richard’s death, he said.

The family immediately flew into Bangalore.

On reaching the college, the college authorities claimed ‘accident’ as the possible cause of death. However, when they enquired of some students about the death it was found that one Syed Afjal Ali had beaten Richard on April 17. They also found bloodstains on the door knob of Richard’s hostel room and windowsill, which points to a quarrel, he further told media persons.

They found Richard’s body in a decomposed state at the morgue raising new questions on the time of his death, he stated.

The students further told the family members that, Syed had assaulted Richard while he was playfully quarrelling with one of his seniors.

Further alleging lapses on the part of the college authorities for Richard’s death, the aggrieved father said his family was not informed by the college authorities but by the college doctor which is absurd.

He further expressed his surprise over the Karnataka police filing a simple FIR and stuck up in procedural matters like 174 CrPC.

He however said that he had full faith in the Karnataka administration and police and believe that the state will conduct the investigation properly.

Neighbours demand thorough investigation
Local meira paibis and club members of Uripok Yambem Leikai came out today in strong protest against the alleged killing of Loitam Richard.

Demanding proper investigation of the death, the protestors held a sit in protest at the locality, holding placards that read ‘Don’t kill Richard Loitam twice’, ‘Investigate properly the killing of Richard Loitam’, ‘Who killed Richard Loitam’, ‘We demand fair investigation from Bangalore Police’, ‘Protect Manipuri students outside Manipur’ and ‘Give death penalty to the killer’ etc.

Speaking to media persons one of the protestors urged the Karnataka police to start investigations on the case at the earliest and further expressed hope that the Karnataka police will conduct the investigation in an unbiased and transparent manner.

The protestors further demanded action against the college, as laxity on their part had resulted in the death, said the protestors.

Meanwhile, the protestors further said that the government should take up action to safeguard all the people from the state who are staying outside the state.