TODAY -

June 18 probe report exposes SF excesses
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, June 18 2021: On the occasion of the Great June 18 Uprising Day, Extrajudicial Execution Victim Families Association, Manipur (EEVFAM) and Human Rights Alert (HRA) have reproduced the report of Upendra Judicial Commission of Inquiry appointed by the Government of Manipur to inquire into the incident of June 18, 2001 to the public.

Producing the report in public interest, a joint statement of EEVFAM and HRA said that on this day, 20 years ago, the Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF) shot down defiant protestors defending the idea of Manipur in the heart of Imphal city, killing 14 and injuring more than eight hundred.

The spontaneous outburst of the people could not be contained by the brute repression.

The stubborn protest persisted, losing more lives, until the Government of India finally conceded to their demand on July 27, 2001, and dropped the phrase 'without territorial limits' from its ceasefire agreement with the NSCN (lM).

In order to establish the truth behind the incident, Government of Manipur (GoM) constituted a Judicial Commission under (late) C Upendra Singh, District and Sessions Judge (Retired), vide its notification dated 14 July 2001 .

After a thorough, open and judicious process, the report was finally submitted to GoM in January 2002 but it was never placed before the cabinet or the state assembly as required by the law.

Even attempts by curious citizens to obtain a copy of the report through RTI applications were summarily rejected.

More than a decade later, in the course of the proceeding of the PIL (WP (Cril) 129 of 2012) filed by EEVFAM and HRA seeking justice in the 1528 extrajudicial executions, the Supreme Court directed the GoM to submit all the relevant Commission of Inquiry reports.

This report was one amongst half a dozen others, so submitted.

The court handed over a copy of the reports to the petitioners.

The Commission categorically concluded: "...it is found that the actions of the security forces was made without any justifiable cause or it had exceeded the reasonable limits, appropriate action should be taken up against the wrong doers and such persons should not be scot-free' (Para 21 at page no.98 of the Report).

The Supreme Court in its order dated July 14, 2017 directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate this incident along with 38 others.

Accordingly, CBI registered a case of murder against some personnel of 81 and 121 Battalion of CRPF and proceeded with the investigation.

But when the CBI submitted its Final Report (FR) on August, 3, 2020, EEVFAM and HRA were deeply disappointed to see the conclusion: "...sufficient admissible evidence has not come on record during investigation to launch prosecution against the alleged security personnel of CRPF..." and utterly shocked to find out from the FR that the CBI could not obtain the relevant documents in connection with the incident from GoM.

As a matter of fact, the entire case docket pertaining to the incident is stated to be missing from both the police as well as court records.

Outraged by the callous attitude of the officials and being suspicious if this is a deliberate attempt to conceal the critical documents by some unscrupulous elements within the government functionaries, the families of the 14 victims of the June 18 incident petitioned the Home Department, Government of India on December 18, 2020 urging to take action for recovering the documents and also to take action against the erring officials.

On such a grave matter of public importance, the government simply turned a blind eye without even acknowledging it as an issue.

This is simply bizarre, especially because many of the top politicians holding key position in the present regime were onetime civil society leaders at the forefront of the people's movement to preserve integrity of Manipur who catapulted themselves to politics, the statement elaborated.

Anxious by the present perplexing state-of-affairs of the official institutions and driven by the compelling need to preserve the remaining pieces of evidence of this historic event, EEVFAM and HRA are compelled to reproduce the report of Upendra Judicial Commission of Inquiry.

By disseminating this report far and wide, EEVFAM and HRA are making a humble attempt to resist the diabolic attempt, if there is any, to distort the truth of this great people's uprising, the joint statement added.


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