Extrajudicial killings: SC gives green signal to probe panel
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Agencies

Imphal /New Delhi, January 04 2013 : Supreme Court of India has today finally agreed to appoint a commission to inquire into encounter killings in Manipur.

However, taking into consideration of the large number of numerous cases, the commission comprising former apex court judge Santosh Hegde, former CEC J M Lyngdoh and a police officer will only be inquiring into only five encounter killings.

The apex court's order came on a public interest litigation (PIL) initiated by Extrajudicial Execution Victim Families, Manipur (EEVFAM), an association of the families of alleged victims, pleading for an independent probe into all such cases of extra-judicial killings in Manipur.

EEVFAM has cited over 2,000 extra-judicial killings that have taken place in the state in its petition and said that no one has been held guilty till date.

Before arriving at its decision of appointing a commission to inquire into extra-judicial killings in Manipur, the apex court, which is perturbed by the large number of cases, consulted the counsels of both the parties.

As inquiry into all these cases would be a mammoth task, the counsels agreed to pick up at least five cases randomly for the probe.

When the choice for selection of the five cases was given, amicus curiae of the present case, Menaka Guruswamy, a Supreme Court lawyer, picked the first five cited cases.

Supreme Court of India at Delhi
Supreme Court of India at Delhi

The first case relates to Khumbongmayum Orsonjit (19) s/o Imo of Konjeng Hajari Leikai, Jailor Leirak, P.O.and P.S.Imphal, Imphal West District, Manipur.

According to the case dossier, at around 8.30 am of March 16, 2010, Orsonjit rode out a scooter bearing registration No.8382 informing his mother that he would be going to get his scooter repaired.

At around 10:20 a.m.his mother called him up over mobile phone asking him to return home and have lunch with his father.

Orsonjit told his mother that he was in the scooter repairing shop and would be returning home soon after the scooter got repaired.

At around 11:30 of the local boys informed Orsonjit's family that Orsonjit was arrested by a team of police commandos from M.G.Avenue near OK Hotel.

On receiving the information, Orsonjit's family went to Imphal Police Station and made a verbal submission.

The police officer on duty denied any report of arrest but he recorded the verbal submission.

Thereafter, the family also went to Porompat Police Station and then to Police Commandos Complex at Minuthong.

But they also denied any report of arrest.

In the evening, Orsonjit's dead body was shown on the local news bulletin ISTV while his families were watching the news.

The next day, the family went to the morgue of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) at Lamphel and confirmed the death.

The family also found signs of torture on the body.

Orsonjit's left fingers were badly broken and his right hand was found fracture.

The second case is that of Yumnam Kumarjit (18) s/o, Y.Nupamacha of Irom Meijrao Makha Leikai, Imphal West District.

Kumarjit had been staying at the residence of his aunt, Yengkhom Abem Devi at Japhou Bazaar, Chandel District since June 2009.There, he used to work as mason labour.

On 11 August 2009, Kumarjit received a phone call from his elder brother, Premjit asking him to come back to his permanent house.

On 12 August 2009, Kumarjit left his aunt's house for his permanent residence in a passenger bus.

Kumarjit failed to return home.

It was reported that District Magistrate of Imphal West imposed curfew from 2.00 p.m.on that day.

His family tried to search Kumarjit through friends and relatives.

But the family could not trace him out.

On 25 August 2009, the family came to know that an unknown individual was killed in an encounter by a combined team of Manipur Police Commando and 4/8 Gurkha Rifles at Moirangkhong Pat and the dead body of the individual was deposited in the morgue of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Lamphel for identification.

The family went to the morgue of RIMS and found the dead body of Kumarjit.

The family has every reason to believe that Kumarjit was arrested while he was on the way to home from Chandel and killed in an extrajudicial manner.

Several bullet injuries and marks of abrasions were found all over his body.

The third case is of Chongtham Umakanta @ Mamunaton (24) s/o, Gunamani of Iroisemba Mamang Leikai, Imphal West District, Manipur.

In the evening of 4 May 2009, at around 9.20, Umakanta went out of his house soon after receiving a phone call from someone.

After a while, he came back home along with two other unknown men.

Thereafter, he informed his family that they were going to meet Chanam Nanao, a local man.

It was reported that they had dinner in Nanao's house.

While, they were in Nanao's house, a team of police commando came and took the entire male folk out of the house.

The police commando team tried to take away Nanao.

But Gyaneshori, mother of Nanao identified Nanao as her son and tried to stop.

Thereafter, police commando team started beating all the male folk and whisked Umakanta away without issuing arrest memo.

The next morning, the family of Umakanta came to know through local newspapers that Umakanta was shot dead at Seilen Chingkhong near Seijang Village under Lamlai Police Station of Imphal East District and his dead body was kept in the morgue of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) .

The fourth case relates to Elangbam Kiranjit (22) s/o, Ibohal of Thoubal Haokha, Thoubal District, Manipur.

On April 23, 2009 at around 3.30 pm, Kiranjit went out from home, riding his red color bicycle along with a rope and mobile phone (sim card no.98564083346) to search for a missing cow at Thoubal Khunou Chingya, Heibiyai.

But he did not return home.

Subsequently, the family searched for him at the locality and within his friends circle.

It was reported that he was picked up by Thoubal Police Commandos from near Thoubal Khunou Chingya, Heibiyai.

On the following day, father of the victim went to Thoubal Police station and inquired about his son.

But he was responded negatively.

Later, they came to know from locality that he was shot dead at Laikotching under Lamlai Police station.

The fifth case relates to Nameirakpam Gobind alias alias Dhopa (25) s/o, Romen of Bashikhong Mamang Leikai, P.O.& P.S.Irilbung, Imphal East District and his cousin Nameirakpam Nobo (27) s/o N.Basanta of Bashikhong Mamang Leikai, P.O.& P.S.Irilbung, Imphal East District, Manipur.

In the evening of April 4, 2009, at about 6 o'clock, Gobind and his cousin Nobo roamed out together for evening stroll.

They reportedly had tea and snacks in a café known as Soro Hotel at Bashikhong crossing.

They did not return till late in the evening.

Their family members thought that they might have been participating in Thabal Chongba (community dance programme held to celebrate Manipuri New Year).

But they did not return home.

Next day, the family tried to search for them through friends and relatives.

Later in the morning, the family came to know through local news bulletin ISTV that they were killed in an alleged encounter by Imphal West Police Commandos in a place nearby the Election Office along the road of D.C.Lamphel.

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