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2 weeks after Loitam’s death, cops clueless

Nearly two weeks after the mysterious death of Richard Loitam, a 19-year-old Manipuri student in Bangalore, the police are yet to figure out if it was a murder or an accident.

india Updated: Apr 30, 2012 23:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Nearly two weeks after the mysterious death of Richard Loitam, a 19-year-old Manipuri student in Bangalore, the police are yet to figure out if it was a murder or an accident.

The police said that they will decide on case soon as they are going to get the FSL report by Monday evening.

“Action will be taken against the guilty in accordance with the law,” Karnataka home minister R Ashok said. The minister also said the case will be transferred to the crime investigation department if Loitam’s family members were not satisfied with the forensic report.

The incident took place in Madanayakanahalli police station limits in Bangalore rural district which is around 50km away from Bangalore city. The deceased Richard Loitam was a 19 year old student from Manipur, who was pursuing Architecture Engineering (1st Year) at Archarya NRV School of Architecture, Soladevanahalli.

It is said that on the morning of April 18, Richard was found dead on the bed of his hostel room with multiple injuries to his body and blood oozing from his eyes, nose, mouth and ears. The hostel authorities alerted the police about his death and police booked an unnatural death case.

The Acharya Institute’s management has suspended two students from the hostel after the duo had on April 17 allegedly quarrelled with Richard Loitam. Acharya Institute stated that they have informed the police about the same.

Source said that Loitam’s roommates on seeing him bleeding had asked for the cause and he reportedly told them that he had a quarrel with senior students.

The signs on his body, bear clear and distinctive signs of assault. However, many conflicting reasons have been assigned as the cause of his death even before the details of the post mortem are made available, which raising concern of cover up of the casesaid Ringo Pebam of ‘Justice for Loitam Richard Group’.

Richard’s parents are convinced that their son died of campus violence as there are indications and witness accounts of Richard having an altercation with other students on the evening of April 17, the night before his death.

The studnet unions stated protest in Bangalore on Sunday demanding justice. They alleged the local police have not done a proper investigation into the matter, nor has the college authorities co-operated with the investigation.

They also demanded the Karnakata government to thoroughly investigate the death of Richard Loitam, and the guilty be brought to justice. It has also called upon the Karantaka government to take action against the Acharya NRV school of architecture and it's official for their negligence, false accusation and the cover-up in the death of Richard Loitam.

Jagdish G Chandra, c onvener, Peoples' Solidarity Concerns, Bangalore said that the justice for Loitam Richard is a fundamental issue for all citizens.

Naga Students’ Union Bangalore, Juvenile care groups, Zeliangrong students’ union, Bangalore Manipur Student Association (BMSA), Representative of Lesbith Group and other associates demanded the government to take action against the accused.

“The police gave conflicting reasons for Loitam’s death even before the autopsy details came out,” said Ringo Pebam of the Justice for Loitam Richard Group.

The college also “tainted” Loitam by calling him a “drug addict”, the groups said.

First Published: Apr 30, 2012 14:03 IST