Dimapur, May 29: A Habeas Corpus petition was mentioned before the Supreme Court today praying for the production of former United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) peace negotiator Rebati Phukan, who has been missing since April 22.
Appearing for the petitioners, Senior Counsel Geeta Luthra informed the Court of the urgency of the matter, stating that Phukan has been missing for over a month.
Given the urgency of the matter, the Supreme Court Bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice M Shantanagoudar agreed to list it for hearing on Friday, June 1.
In 2005, Phukan was appointed as a member of the People’s Consultative Group (PCG) formed by ULFA. Phukan mediated between the Centre and ULFA.
He had also been working closely with the Prime Minister’s Office for peace missions since 1991, and with the Intelligence Bureau (IB) till 2016 in relation to missions in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and China.
According to Phukan’s son – the petitioner in this case – he attended a secret meeting with a retired bureaucrat and Senior Advocate Pranab Pathak on April 20, two days before he went missing. This meeting concerned discussions over a memorandum for negotiation with ULFA, which was going to be presented before Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon.
On April 22, Phukan did not return from his morning walk. His whereabouts have not been traced till date, despite the filing of an FIR. An inquiry led by the Commissioner of Police of Gauhati was ordered for by the Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal.
The petitioner suspects that Phukan might be in the custody of the IB, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Military Intelligence, or the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
In light of these suspicions, the petitioner has prayed for a writ of Habeas Corpus to be issued, directing the respondents to produce Phukan before the Court and to set him free.
Additionally, the petitioner has also prayed for transfer of the investigation to either the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or any other independent agency or for a Court-appointed SIT to look into the matter;
Directions to be issued to the respondents to produce the status report of this investigation carried out till now; and Protection to be granted to the petitioner and his family.
(Page News Service)