Parag Kumar Das
Parag Kumar Das
Portrait of Parag Kumar Das
|Died||17 May 1996 (aged 35)|
Human rights activist
|Parent(s)||Anupama Das (Mother)|
Parag Kumar Das (Assamese পৰাগ কু: দাস) was the former editor of Asomiya Pratidin, a radical journalist, human right activist and one of the founders of human rights movement in Assam. He was also the founder leader of Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (MASS). Prior to that he was the manager of Guwahati Stock Exchange. He was assassinated by SULFA in 1996. He had his education in St. Stephen's College and Delhi School of Economics, Delhi.
Parag Kumar Das was born in Shillong on 24 February 1961. He did his lower primary, primary and high schooling from Chenikuthi Boys School, M.C.M.E. School and Cotton Collegiate Government H.S. School respectively. In 1977, he got the 4th position in HSLC examination. He also got 4th position in the Pre-university examination from Cotton College in Science stream. Then he moved to Delhi for higher education. He took admission in St. Stephen's College for his graduation in Economics. After that he joined the Delhi School of Economics at the University of Delhi for master's degree.
In 1984, he joined as a manager in Punjab National Bank. After that he was appointed as general manager in Unit Trust and Guwahati Stock Exchange. In 1995 he quit from his job and joined as an editor in the Assamese daily Asomiya Pratidin.
He married to Purabi Das and they have two children.
In the afternoon of 17 May 1996, while taking back his young son from school in Chandmari, Guwahati, Das was assassinated in broad daylight by four SULFA members - Mridul Phukan alias Samar Kakati, Diganta Baruah, Tapan Dutta alias Biswajit Saikia and Nayan Das alias Guli. His open murder created huge outrage in the entire state of Assam and the human rights circles of the country.
In 2001, CBI filed its chargesheet in Kamrup District and Sessions Court against the four accused - all members of the surrendered group of ULFA. Before the CBI filed its chargesheet, Diganta Baruah and Tapan Dutta were killed and in 2003 Nayan Das was hacked to death by a furious mob in Dibrugarh. Promod Gogoi and Prabin Sarma, two other suspects were not charge-sheeted for lack of evidence against them. Mridul Phukan is the only surviving accused in the case. But after thirteen years, on 28 July 2009, Justice Dilip Kumar Mahanta, District and Sessions Judge, Kamrup, has acquitted the prime accused citing lack of solid evidence.
According to human rights activists, the key witnesses were not interviewed, some were intimidated, related materials were tempered to ensure the acquittal of the accused and cover up the state machinery’s role in the case. Three of the accused were expired. The human rights activist, media, friends and family members of Das, all call it as a betrayal of the CBI and the Court. MASS leader Lachit Bordoloi, expressing his disappointment with the verdict, said that the MASS would approach higher courts and continue the fight for justice to the slain activist.
- Al-Ahmed, Saikh Md Sabah (4 August 2009). "Parag Das murder verdict: bleeding Fourth Estate". The Assam Tribune. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
- Kashyap, Samudra Gupta (30 July 2009). "Assam, editor murder, CBI, main accused". indianexpress.com. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
- "VFF demands retrial of Parag Das killer". Voices For Freedom. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
- Borborah, Sanjay (28 July 2009). "13 Years After: Waiting for Justice in the Parag Das Assassination Case". assam.org. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
- "Prime accused in the Parag Das murder case acquitted". Assam Times. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
- "Parag Das murder suspect acquitted; Assam bandh on Thursday". newkerela.com. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2009.