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EXCLUSIVE: Sam Stafford died of gun-shot wounds: Post-mortem report

Medical experts say that the Assam teenager who was killed during anti-CAA protests, may have been shot at close range

Zamser Ali 27 Jan 2020

Sam Stafford died of gun-shot

Guwahati, 24th January: Sam Stafford was a 17-year-old student of class 10 and an aspiring musician when he was killed in police firing at Hatigaon in Guwahati on December 12, 2019, on his way back from a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Now, his post-mortem report is out and it proves that the teenager did indeed sustain gun-shot wounds, negating decisively the police’s version that they had fired blanks.

According to this report, Sam Stafford’s death was due to shock and hemorrhage as a result of injuries sustained antemortem or before death. While some were bullet injuries including four entry and exit wounds due to two bullets, there were six injuries caused by blunt force impact. He was shot in the face and in the back, and also sustained injuries to his knees. The report says, “died due to shock and hemorrhage as a result of injuries sustained over the body as described. All the injuries were antemortem and caused by rifled firearm, accept the injury no. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8 which were caused by blunt force impact.”

The entire report may be viewed here. 

 

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We spoke to a few medical experts who told us on condition of anonymity that it appears that based on the angle of entry and exit wounds, Stafford was fired at close range. It is also noteworthy that while one bullet was fired from behind into Stafford’s back, another was fired from the front, suggesting there were two people firing at the same young boy. This also suggests that the firing was deliberate, revealing the cold-blooded and planned nature of the attack.

Here's a brief account of how things transpired in the run up to the police firing.
 

What happened on December 11, 2019

CAB was tabled and passed in the floor of the Lok Sabha on December 11, 2019. Immediately, the situation in Assam began to deteriorate rapidly. The government of Assam declared curfew in Guwahati city along with various parts of Assam at 7 pm on the same day. A huge number of protesters in Guwahati city were burning effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal and powerful Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sharma. Lakhs of people came out of the road and almost all corner and cross roads were littered with burning tyres, bringing traffic to a stand-still and making it impossible for anyone to pass through.

This is when Aktar Ali, CJP state team member who was returning from Cotton College area after covering the news of heavy protest by students along with other team member of CJP, found that Sam Stafford was busy in saving lives and properties of people in Hatigaon area. Aktar Ali said, “When we were returning from Cotton College, we were unable to find a way to reach Bhetapara which was our last destination of the day. After crossing the railway over bridge near B. Baruah College we found that the road from flyover to Ulubari was blocked. There was no option to proceed through the road. So, we entered Solapara road but that was also closed due to heavy protest.”

Explaining the team’s predicament, he added, “We moved one sub road to another and thus we could reach at Sijubari mazar after about three hours. From there we could not proceed to the road from Sijubari to Ghoramara for which we took the way through Hatigaon to Bhetapara.” Shortly after this Akhtar met Stafford. He says, “When we passed Hatigaon police station a group of teenagers requested us not to proceed further as our car may be burnt by the protestors. Sam Stafford was leading this group of teenagers. We could not ignore them and returned to Sijubari and all other members of our team walked through the road to reach their destination. I was saddened to hear that the same Sam Stafford who saved our life and car the previous day, was brutally killed by Assam police personnel on December 12.”


What happened on December 12, 2019

On December 12, 2019 there was a huge rally at Latashil playground violating the curfew. The protest was led by All Assam Students Union (AASU) where popular artists like Zubin Garg, Manash Rabin and Barsharani Bishaya made an appearance, and thousands of people attended. Sam Stafford was fond of music and fan of Zubin Garg as he was also playing music with Manash Rabin and Nekib, he attended the protest to see Zubin Garg up close. When he was returning from Latashil playground after the day long protes, he became a victim of gun fire by the Assam police. The incident took place near Namghor path of Hatigaon area in the evening of that day.

EXCLUSIVE: Sam Stafford died of gun-shot wounds: Post-mortem report

Medical experts say that the Assam teenager who was killed during anti-CAA protests, may have been shot at close range

Sam Stafford died of gun-shot

Guwahati, 24th January: Sam Stafford was a 17-year-old student of class 10 and an aspiring musician when he was killed in police firing at Hatigaon in Guwahati on December 12, 2019, on his way back from a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Now, his post-mortem report is out and it proves that the teenager did indeed sustain gun-shot wounds, negating decisively the police’s version that they had fired blanks.

According to this report, Sam Stafford’s death was due to shock and hemorrhage as a result of injuries sustained antemortem or before death. While some were bullet injuries including four entry and exit wounds due to two bullets, there were six injuries caused by blunt force impact. He was shot in the face and in the back, and also sustained injuries to his knees. The report says, “died due to shock and hemorrhage as a result of injuries sustained over the body as described. All the injuries were antemortem and caused by rifled firearm, accept the injury no. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8 which were caused by blunt force impact.”

The entire report may be viewed here. 

 

1

4

2

3

We spoke to a few medical experts who told us on condition of anonymity that it appears that based on the angle of entry and exit wounds, Stafford was fired at close range. It is also noteworthy that while one bullet was fired from behind into Stafford’s back, another was fired from the front, suggesting there were two people firing at the same young boy. This also suggests that the firing was deliberate, revealing the cold-blooded and planned nature of the attack.

Here's a brief account of how things transpired in the run up to the police firing.
 

What happened on December 11, 2019

CAB was tabled and passed in the floor of the Lok Sabha on December 11, 2019. Immediately, the situation in Assam began to deteriorate rapidly. The government of Assam declared curfew in Guwahati city along with various parts of Assam at 7 pm on the same day. A huge number of protesters in Guwahati city were burning effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal and powerful Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sharma. Lakhs of people came out of the road and almost all corner and cross roads were littered with burning tyres, bringing traffic to a stand-still and making it impossible for anyone to pass through.

This is when Aktar Ali, CJP state team member who was returning from Cotton College area after covering the news of heavy protest by students along with other team member of CJP, found that Sam Stafford was busy in saving lives and properties of people in Hatigaon area. Aktar Ali said, “When we were returning from Cotton College, we were unable to find a way to reach Bhetapara which was our last destination of the day. After crossing the railway over bridge near B. Baruah College we found that the road from flyover to Ulubari was blocked. There was no option to proceed through the road. So, we entered Solapara road but that was also closed due to heavy protest.”

Explaining the team’s predicament, he added, “We moved one sub road to another and thus we could reach at Sijubari mazar after about three hours. From there we could not proceed to the road from Sijubari to Ghoramara for which we took the way through Hatigaon to Bhetapara.” Shortly after this Akhtar met Stafford. He says, “When we passed Hatigaon police station a group of teenagers requested us not to proceed further as our car may be burnt by the protestors. Sam Stafford was leading this group of teenagers. We could not ignore them and returned to Sijubari and all other members of our team walked through the road to reach their destination. I was saddened to hear that the same Sam Stafford who saved our life and car the previous day, was brutally killed by Assam police personnel on December 12.”


What happened on December 12, 2019

On December 12, 2019 there was a huge rally at Latashil playground violating the curfew. The protest was led by All Assam Students Union (AASU) where popular artists like Zubin Garg, Manash Rabin and Barsharani Bishaya made an appearance, and thousands of people attended. Sam Stafford was fond of music and fan of Zubin Garg as he was also playing music with Manash Rabin and Nekib, he attended the protest to see Zubin Garg up close. When he was returning from Latashil playground after the day long protes, he became a victim of gun fire by the Assam police. The incident took place near Namghor path of Hatigaon area in the evening of that day.

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