GUWAHATI, JANUARY 23: Family members of Sam Stafford, the 17-year-old boy who died in police firing at Hatigaon area last month when mass movement had erupted across the State against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, yesterday alleged that the post-mortem report proves that the security forces had intentionally killed the youth.
The family received the post-mortem report recently and has filed a complaint with the Hatigaon Police Station, seeking justice. During a conversation yesterday with The Assam Tribune, they even alleged that Sam had been tortured brutally before killing. The post-mortem report stated that Sam’s death occurred due to shock and haemorrhage as a result of injuries sustained over the body. It also stated that most of the injuries were antemortem and caused by rifled firearm.
Explaining about the appearance of the body at the time of post-mortem, the report said, “Blood stains present over the body and clothes at places. Torn areas present over clothes on back correspond with underlying firearm injury. Rigor mortis is fully developed over the body and is cold on touch.”
About the position and character of the wounds, the report said, “One abrasion 9×2 cm is present on right side of forehead, located 2 cm above the right eyebrow. One lacerated wound 2×1 cm and bone deep is present on right eyebrow, located 1 cm lateral to midline. One abrasion 4×2 cm is present on right cheek, located 5 cm lateral to midline and 2 cm below lateral canthus of right eye. Multiple contusions are present on upper lip where punctured injury of size 2.5 cm x 2 cm x cavity deep is present on right lower side of face located 2 cm right to chin. Margins are everted and abraded.”
Explaining about the position, size and nature of the bruise, the report said, “Punctured injury of size 0.5 cmx0.5 cm and thoracic cavity deep is present on back of the chest, located at the level of third thoracic vertebra and 1 cm right to the midline. Abrasion and grease collar present around wound margin. Stellate shaped flash burn mark present around the wound. Margins of the wound are inverted.
“The bullet passed from back to front, below upwards, lateral to medially piercing through muscle on back and exiting through muscle of upper side,” the report stated. It further mentions about the presence of a contusion on the right side of neck muscle in the body. It also mentions about abrasions of size 2 cm x 1 cm on the anterior aspect of both the knees.
“Two bullets penetrated my brother’s body. The bullet which pierced through his forehead proves that it was shot from a very close range. Moreover, we had seen multiple injuries all over his body, which proved that he had been brutality tortured before killing,” Sam’s elder sister Mousumi Begum told this newspaper.
She stated that her brother’s killing was a unique incident. “All the others who were killed during the protest had one bullet injury each. But, in case of Sam, the forces had fired 2 bullets. Why?” she questioned.
Sam’s father Biju said he will continue to fight for justice till his last breath. “If required, I will sell off all my properties to get justice for my son, but will never stop fighting. How did the police obtain the authority to kill an innocent? I need an answer,” he said.