GHC directs police to hand over case records of alleged fake encounter

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IMPHAL April 29: A division bench of the Gauhati High Court, Imphal bench comprising of justice TNK and MBK Singh issued a ruling yesterday to hand over the case records of an alleged fake encounter perpetrated by a combined force on or before May 27, 2011.

A petition filed by Khangembam Puspa Devi, 24, w/o late Khangembam Priyokumar of Wangjing Tekcham Leikai to the court alleges that her husband aged 26 and his friend Nehru Singh was killed by a team of police commandos and 12 Maratha Light Infantry after he was arrested on January 4, 2009.

She also blamed the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) and state police for trying to erase the evidence of injury marks inflicted on the dead body and also for entering of false date, timing of receiving the body by RIMS and time of occurrence of the incident in the post mortem report.

Her writ petition (Crl) number 43 of 2011 reads that her late husband tried to join the security forces repeatedly but remained unsuccessful and that he earned his livelihood by doing contract works and had no criminal records.

On January 4, he left at about 8 am for printing invitation cards for an upcoming ceremony for his 5 year old son. Around noon, one local namely Teckcham Muhindro, 40 s/o late Lal Singh came to her residence and inquired if her husband had returned home.

It further stated that Puspa made repeated calls to her husband`™s mobile till evening which remained switched off. Finally, the call went through and after trying to conceal his identity at first, Tekcham Muhindro answered the mobile. Muhindro handed over the mobile at about 7.30 pm to Pushpa stating that he accompanied Priyokumar and his friend Nehru for some work at Thoubal Leisangthem in a Maruti car. Priyokumar had handed over his mobile to him, afterwards they had both left and when he was alone in the car some police commandos came and checked his vehicle.

It also stated that she received the news of her husband`™s death from one of his friends namely Tekcham Devan who saw Priyokumar`™s corpse on ISTv news on the same day. The next day she went to RIMS mortuary and saw her husband`™s body. Pushpa`™s brother namely Ningombam Priyo had confirmed to her that his brother in law (Priyokumar) had called him at about 8.30 am on the faithful day to hand over some amount, it added. Priyo later phoned his brother in law about ten minutes later, however the phone was picked up by Tekcham Muhindro and had remained switched off.

The petition also mentions one Tekcham Ajit, a police commando and a younger cousin brother of Tekcham Muhindro who took pictures of the bruises marks of her husband`™s body at RIMS but refused to give the photos when demanded by Pushpa, saying that the photos have been deleted. Tekcham Ajit had lamented on the Ashti Day of Priyokumar saying ` Ekhutmakna` and `enaodi maral leitabani`, it stated.

Pushpa was also shocked by the post mortem examination reports from RIMS which stated that the corpse was received by the institute at 3 pm on 6/1/2009 despite the fact that her husband`™s body was deposited in the evening of 4/1/2009 by the police, there is also no mention of external bodily injury marks except the bullet wounds.

Further, Pushpa`™s mother in law Khangembam Meilani, a vegetable vendor at Khwairamband Bazar was confided by one of her colleagues, Shanti Devi(name changed) of Ishok village that the two youths were brought near the playground at the base of Ishok hill on the said date and beaten mercilessly by the police commandos. The womenfolk of Ishok village had intervened decrying the police brutality but the youths were taken up the hill and shot them there, it maintained.

Pushpa in the petition also stated that she suspects involvement of Tekcham Mohindro and Tekcham Ajit Singh.

The division bench of the GHC after hearing both counsels of the petitioner and respondents yesterday issued a ruling to show cause as to why the writ as prayed for should not be issued and directed the OC of Wangoi to hand over the case records of the FIR no 4(1)09 to the respondent before 27 May and also to take steps for service of the Superintendent CBI by registered post within three days.

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