Severe penalty awaits policemen if convicted

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Imphal, Sep 11: Awaiting court trial till the 27th of the month, the fate of nine police personnel hangs in balance following the chargesheet framed against them by the CBI regarding the July 23 Khwairamband bazar incident. According to the acts and sections under which they are charged, including the IPC 302, the serious charge of murder is punishable by death penalty or imprisonment for life if convicted.

The police personnell charged under the act are Inspector Hijam Devendra Singh (40), Head Constable Thounaojam Herojit (29), Rifleman Ngangom Toiyaima (35), Constable Wahengbam Binoykumar (28), Havildar Thokchom Jagat Singh (30), Rifleman Md. Imran Khan (23), Head constable Oinam Keshor Singh (30) and Constable Makan Kanchung Chothe (34).
Among the personnel, the then OC of Imphal City Police Yumnam Munal (51) charged under section 218 of the Indian Penal Code i.e. preparation of false records by a public servant is punishable by a jail term of two to three years.

Talking to IFP, advocate Khaidem Mani who represented the writ petition filed by Chungkham Taratombi, mother of late Sanjit, to the Guwahati High Court before handing over the case to the CBI stated that the case is pending in the criminal court awaiting trial process at Session Judge Manipur East. As a human rights defender Khaidem feels satisfied that the CBI investigation concluded in a short time. He stated, “I feel that the case has been properly investigated and the law will take it’s own course and will bring out the guilty and the innocent. The July 23, 2009 case is rare in nature and the CBI has done a commendable job in collecting evidence and giving a thorough and detailed report“.

According to the CBI report, papers regarding laboratory analysis, the photos which appeared in the Tehelka magazine regarding the BT Road incident are not morphed, two bullets recovered from the corpse of Ch. Sanjit were fired from the pistol issued to head constable Th. Herojit and the pistol recovered from the incident is not ‘Tanfoglio’ but ‘Mauser Werke’.
The report further mentions that the pistol allegedly recovered by OC Munal from the encounter site at Maimu pharmacy was earlier recovered by one Havildar Konsom Somarjit from the entrance of Gambhir Singh Shopping Arcade and later handed over to OC Munal. He had shown the pistol seized as “Tangfoglio” in the seizure list whereas the pistol was a ‘Mauser Werke”.

Investigations had disclosed that the deceased Sanjit was first projected by Inspector Munal as armed with Mauser Werke pistol which was already recovered from GSS Arcade. The CBI papers in veiw of the facts conclusively disclose that H. Devendra, Herojit, Toyaima, Binoy, Jagat, Imran, Keshor and Makan had the common intention to cause death of Sanjit Meitei, accosted him and led him to the store room of Social Time Emporium under the command of Inspector Devendra where Sanjit who was unarmed was shot dead by Herojit.

In pursuance of their common intention, OC Munal, Devendra, Herojit and Toiyaima prepared false record and information knowing that it will save them from legal punishment for commiting the murder. Thus the CBI chargesheeted them to be liable for prosecution under section 34 IPC, 302 and 218.

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