APFEJ urges probe into Assam Advocate’s death

By- Nava Thakuria | Date- January 12, 2012

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Asia-Pacific Forum of Environmental Journalists (APFEJ) has urged the province government of Assam in North East India to investigate the mysterious death of a journalist turned advocate Deva Kumar Das following the injury, he sustained by a stray leopard, in Guwahati on January 7, 2012. In a statement issued from Dhaka, the APFEJ chairman Quamrul Islam Chowdhury argues that the death of Mr. Das would only spread a wrong signal against the conservation effort worldwide.

‘The circumstantial evidence reveals that Mr. Das might have been killed by some one to satisfy his (their) personal grudges. There are possibilities that the conspirators took advantage of the situation. So it should be probed and disclosed to the people of Assam, such that the negative impression of a leopard (or a tiger) as a man-eater could be diminished,’ said Mr Chowdhury.

Mentionable that Deva Das, 49, along with three others were wounded by the panicky leopard, which got itself trapped in a residential area adjacent to Navagraha hills at Silphukhuri locality of Guwahati. All the injured were admitted to the hospital, while Mr Das was given first-aid and released by the attending doctors.

But next morning he was found dead at his residence. A bachelor by choice Mr. Das stayed alone with some tenants in the building and the door of his room was not locked from inside when he was seen lying on his bed. His face was full of blood and some clots with parts of bandage were observed at the wall as well.

The local media in Guwahati, while quoting the attending doctor PK Padampati of MMC Hospital, reported that he is not convinced that Mr Das died due to his injuries by the leopard. Padampati said that Mr. Das received nominal injuries during the attack of the leopard. ‘It was significant that the Assam Forest and Environment Ninister Rockybul Hussain too expressed his suspicion that Mr. Das died due to the injuries caused by the leopard. So there are enough space for raising voice for a high level probe into his death,’ added Mr Chowdhury.

Earlier the Journalists Forum Assam disclosed that Mr. Das, had lodged an FIR at Chandmari police station a few days back expressing apprehension about the threat to his life following an ongoing property dispute. So the local journalist body also demanded a comprehensive investigation into the mysterious death of Mr Das.

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