IO Birbabu grilled, left speechless
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, March 07 2013: After hearing the statement of respondent witness Laishram Birbabu, who was the Investigating Officer (IO) of the case related to killing of Elangbam Kiranjit during an alleged encounter at Laikot hill, the Supreme Court appointed independent Inquiry Commission today asked him "how many times have you signed on blank forms during the course of your service?" .

Laishram Birbabu could not give any reply to the question raised by the Commission.

Birbabu is presently the Deputy Commandant of 1st MR. Elangbam Kiranjit was killed in an alleged encounter by a combined team of Manipur Police Commandos and personnel of Assam Rifles at Laikot hill under Lamlai Police Station after he had been picked up from Thoubal Khunnou on April 23, 2009 .

When the counsel of the petitioner Mukul Sinha asked whether he (Laishram Birbabu) had also signed in the inquest report over an earlier signature, which had been subsequently erased with ink remover, Laishram Birbabu replied in the affirmative.

Furthermore, the petitioners' counsel brought to the knowledge of the Inquiry Commission that IO Laishram Birbabu had not written the time of initiating the inquest report or the time of its completion.

After perusing the report placed before the Commission, retired Supreme Court Justice N Santosh Hegde, who is heading the three-member independent Inquiry Commission categorically observed that no responsible police officer would ever sign on top of a previously signed space after erasing it by an ink remover.

The Commission collected the documents of the inquest report as records and marked it as exhibit along with recording all the statements of Laishram Birbabu.

The Commission was also forwarded with an unsigned inquest report along with an affidavit submitted by SI L Nilachandra, who was a witness respondent of the case.

On being provided the unsigned inquest report, the Commission asked the witness respondent whether he (Nilachandra) knew the consequences of submitting a faulty document to the counsel of the Manipur Police.

SI Nilachandra also changed his earlier statement that IO Laishram Birbabu went to the spot where Kiranjit was killed, stating that his earlier statement in the judicial enquiry was a mistake.

To similar questions raised by the counsel of the petitioners, Jamandar Holal Haokip of 2nd MR, who was also a respondent of the case, gave different answers.

As such, the Commission marked the affidavit submitted as exhibit.

The affidavit of Pushpanjali, who is the SP of Senapati anmd SI Sukumar of Imphal West were also cross-examined by the petitioners' counsel in connection with the case today.

The statement and the affidavit of SI Sukumar were also recorded as exhibit by the Commission.

The enquiry over the alleged extra-judicial killings in the State which has been going on since March 3 at the Classic Regency (conference hall) on 4th floor of Classic Hotel concluded today.

The cross examination of the respondent witnesses of the remaining cases would be held at Delhi from tomorrow.

So far, cross-examination of all the witnesses from the side of the petitioners has been completed and respondent witnesses of Manipur police in four cases have been crossed examined.

Eight respondent witnesses from the side of the Assam Rifles would be cross-examined on March 12 at Delhi.

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