NCPCR grills state on `encounter`

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IMPHAL, May 20: The state Home Minister Gaikhangam has assured the members of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) that the alleged encounter death of Ahanthem Amujao would be investigated.

The 16 year boy from Sawombung was allegedly killed in an encounter at Khuman Palli by Imphal West commandos on February 29 last.

Briefing newsmen at Hotel Classic this morning Chairperson of North East Cell NCPCR Prof Shantha Sinha stated that after holding a formal hearing and meeting family members and other testimonies being heard, the NCPCR team found several ‘gaps’ in the police report of the encounter.

“The matter has been intimated to state home minister Gaikhangam and he has assured us that an investigation will be carried out and the report will be tendered to the NCPCR,” she said.

Mentioning another case of a juvenile being arrested by paramilitary forces at Chandel recently, Sinha said that the child was detained at the police station.

“This is a clear violation of the Juvenile Justice Act, a child cannot be kept in police custody and the act supersedes the AFSPA in the regard”, she added.

Prof Shantha Sinha stated that Manipur needs a state child policy to effectively address the child rights violation issues. As per recommendations of the public hearing held last year at Kangla, the complaint issues pertaining to education of children, SSA, mid day meals, disabilities etc have been addressed to a satisfactory level. She however stated that there have been no reports available for issues of children affected with HIV/AIDS.

Manipur has a worse problem with its law and order among north eastern states, the porous border, drugs, child trafficking, HIV/AIDS, poor educational facilities are more concentrated in the region and the worst end is received by the children.

“We condemn the recruitment of child soldiers by some insurgent outfits here, the state government needs to tackle the menace, for that a state child policy needs to be set up for holistic redress”, she said.

An IFP query on setting up of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) a state official Binobala informed members of the press that the state cabinet has already approved the institution of SCPCR and and that the notification would be issued shortly.

The NCPCR delegates notified that to address the challenges in tackling the child right violations, the Commission has approved setting up of a nodal cell here. The cell will comprise of two child right activists, namely Anne Mangsatabam of Childline and Keisam Pradipkumar of Manipur Alliance for Child Rights. The cell will function as a nodal agency for the NCPCR.

The Commission delegates with the chairperson included former CBI director Dr Kaarthikeyan and special advisor of NCPCR (north east), L Mishra.

It may be mentioned that this is the first time that the NCPCR chairperson and members have personally investigated an alleged fake encounter case following a complaint made by Centre for Organization, Research and Education (CORE).

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