SC Pulls Up CBI On Manipur Encounters

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LOOKEAST REPORT |

The Supreme Court has pulled up the Central Bureau of Investigation for the agency’s slow pace of investigation into the alleged extra–judicial killings by security forces in Manipur.

The top court had earlier directed the CBI to constitute the team to examine records, file necessary FIRs and complete the investigation into the alleged Manipur fake encounters by December 31 last year.

Herojit Singh, one of the main encounter specialists among Manipur commandos tells Supreme Court that he can contribute to the investigation since he was present at many of these “fake encounters”. © Grace Jajo

Now the apex court directed the agency’s chief to appear before it on July 30 to figure out how to expedite the probe process.

 

Herojit went on record to say that he pumped bullets into the former PLA militant while acting on orders from his senior, the then Additional Superintendent of Police in Imphal. He said that he shot Meitei on the chest with a 9mm pistol

 

The Indian Army, Assam Rifles and the Manipur Police have been accused of fake encounter killings in 1,528 cases from 2000 to 2012 in the insurgency–hit state.

Two weeks ago, the top court had directed the CBI director to form a team of officers to conduct the probe. In April, 282 cases were referred to the Supreme Court for verification, prompting the bench to direct the Centre to distinguish those related to the armed forces, including the Army and Assam Rifles. Similarly, it had asked the Manipur government to examine and segregate the cases related to the local police.

According to NHRC data, Manipur has the dubious distinction of the maximum number of fake encounters in 2008–09, only after Uttar Pradesh.

Over six years after the killing of PLA militant Sanjit Meitei, Herojit Singh had first confessed on News18 in 2016, of killing Meitei.

 

Affidavit is particularly harsh on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), where he says in spite of asking the agency to record his fresh statements in front of the magistrate and “disclose the identity of the senior officers who had ordered the extrajudicial executions, the CBI seemed completely disinterested and wanting to cover up the crimes that have taken place

 

Singh was one of the main encounter specialists among Manipur commandos in those six years.

Singh went on record to say that he pumped bullets into the former PLA militant while acting on orders from his senior, the then Additional Superintendent of Police in Imphal. He said that he shot Meitei on the chest with a 9mm pistol.

Singh had also claimed that the Manipur DGP and the then Chief Minister were in the know about the execution.

Herojit Singh filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court. According to the affidavit, “On 30.4.16 at 8.30 p.m. a TATA pickup truck without lights and number plate deliberately slammed into my car about a kilometre from my house with the intention of killing me. I was seriously injured with multiple fractures and had to take 38 stitches. I continued to pose a threat to all the officers who gave orders and routinely continued to give orders without hesitation and without reason for the extrajudicial executions of innocent citizens of India and this is why I fear that I will suffer the same fate. (sic)”

Weeks before his final killing, Herojit received a promotion and a police gallantry medal from the Governor of Manipur. © Jinen Maibam

His affidavit is particularly harsh on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), where he says in spite of asking the agency to record his fresh statements in front of the magistrate and “disclose the identity of the senior officers who had ordered the extrajudicial executions, the CBI seemed completely disinterested and wanting to cover up the crimes that have taken place.”

Also, one of the important prayers mentioned by Herojit is to recover the 3 or 4 diaries where he had made notes about all the fake encounters. By his own admission, he “made the entries serially”.

The incidents were noted down with the names of the victims, their addresses and other details in the following order: (i) the name of the victim (ii) his age (iii) parentage (iv) address (v) place of occurrence (vi) date of the killing or arrest (vii) remarks such as “killed” or “done” or “arrest” and (viii) the call sign code of the superior officer who gave the order to kill.

These diaries were seized by the CBI from Herojit’s government accommodation at the Manipur Police Commando Complex at Minuthong, Imphal in 2010.

He now believes that “the CBI will destroy or suppress these diaries”.

 

Indian Army, Assam Rifles and the Manipur Police have been accused of fake encounter killings in 1,528 cases from 2000 to 2012 in the insurgency–hit state

 

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Uday U Lalit passed the order on a writ petition filed by the Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families Association (EEVFAM), who had alleged that there were 1,528 fake encounter deaths in Manipur in the past decade. The group further demanded an SIT probe.

The bench then asked the CBI director to nominate a group of five officers to go through the records of the cases, lodge necessary FIRs and complete the investigations into the same by December 31, 2017 apart from preparing the necessary charge sheets.

“The state of Manipur will examine these 265 cases and segregate the cases of Manipur Police. Similarly, the Union of India will examine and segregate the cases related to the armed forces including Army and paramilitary forces. ■

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