‘RIMS authority failed to file FIR’

Imphal: Justice For Sanaton Athokpam (JFSA), a people’s committee, which has been demanding for justice on the death of Sanaton Athokpam, a medical student at Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal, alleged RIMS for failure to file an FIR in connection to the student’ death.

Sanaton was allegedly found death hanging inside his hostel room of RIMS on March 15. JFSA alleged that he was murdered.

Justice For Sanaton Athokpam (JFSA) agree that ‘some organisations’, as stated in the RIMSSU ( RIMS Students’ Union) statement should not have interfered with RIMS, rather RIMSSU was expected to take up the cudgel for handling the unfortunate incident in a considerate and humane manner on behalf of their late friend and colleague, JFSA said on Friday.

On the contrary, the family was left in the lurch at their darkest moment in their life and RIMSSU was nowhere to be seen, and very reluctantly Justice For Sanaton Athokpam had to step in to prevent murder of justice, it said.

Nobody, neither the director, who is the custodian of Sanaton nor RIMSSU thought it necessary to inform the family about the incident. Moreover, despite the clearly apparant homicidal evidences visible to every onlooker, RIMS authority under whose custody the death took place, failed to officially file an FIR with the police. No attempts were made to conduct an internal departmental inquiry into the incident which speaks volumes on the RIMS authory’s indifferent attitude towards the death of Sanaton. If this is the procedure of RIMS, “we fail to understand a bit of it,” it added.

For all these deliberate ommissions on the part of RIMS authority, RIMSSU was expected to speak up and act, not ‘some organisation’. While, even before proper investigation was started, and vested interests were trying to give the verdict as ‘suicide’ on social media and through
rumours, RIMSSU having full understanding of the situation, was expected to stand with their departed friend and colleague, it said.

Having said that it is however conspicuous by their statement that RIMS authority is putting its words in RIMSSU’s mouth. It is obvious from the statement that RIMS authority considers itself being above the law. The audacity of calling itself being a “National Level Institute” and terming the agitation by local student bodies as “interference by some Local Organisations” is obvious of that fact.

RIMS authority should refrain from arm-twisting its students and patients into issuing statements in public domain to mislead and sabotage the ongoing investigation, JFSA said.

Why Justice For Sanaton Athokpam termed the director and dean irresponsible does not require elaboration. It is the responsibility of director (by virtue of being the head of the institution and the custodian of Sanaton Athokpam) to take timely and foolproof security measures in and around the institute. Why was the CCTV camera installed at the Gents Hostel No. 3 not working during the incident? The perimeter wall behind the hostel is too low for anyone to
jump over. Anyone can gain access to the hostels without being noticed. JFSA has so far refrained from criticising other aspects other than apparent lack of security for students in its hostels, however JFSA cannot help but wonder how the institute got itself in the 28th position in the NIRF Ranking in spite of the blatant lack of security and lack of segregation of construction sites and hostel. The ranking evaluation is deemed questionable, it added.

Let it be put on record that JFSA has refrained itself from causing any inconvenience to the hospital and has been confining its agitation to the administrative block of RIMS only, it said.

Terming the demand of Justice For Sanaton Athokpam and student bodies to arrest the Warden of the hostel as “imbecile” is unfortunate and uncalled for. The remark itself shows lack of wisdom on the part of the RIMS aauthority. Among other things, the security of a hostel is
the responsibility of the hostel warden. Any other persons the hostel warden reports to, are also equally responsible.
If RIMSSU can muster up the courage to stand up for its members including Sanaton against the RIMS authority, JFSA will most gladly hand over baton to RIMSSU to carry on the struggle for justice. It is time for RIMSSU to set its priorities right. JFSA consider it counter-productive to draw out the debate any longer and will call it a day, it added.

JFSA has always been declaring that it has the best intentions for RIMSSU and its members in mind and their safety and security is the top agenda for its struggle. If something has been gained to fulfill this agenda JFSA will rest assured that it has achieved some of its goals and death of Sanaton Athokpam has not been in vain. “Let us allow truth to prevail,” JFSA said.

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