IMPHAL, May 19: The Chairperson of North East Cell of the National Commission for Protection of child Rights (NCPCR) Prof Shantha Sinha and his team today met the state Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and Home Minister Gaikhangam.
The meeting was attended by state Chief Secretary DS Poonia, Principal Secretary (Home) Dr Sureshbabu and DCs and SPs of Chandel, Tamenglong and Imphal West.
The Civil Societies Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur (CSCHR) submitted a petition to the team regarding 92 documented cases of extrajudicial executions of children in Manipur from 1979 till February 6, 2012 with a prayer to the Commission to take up urgent steps regarding these cases for the end of justice.
A press release of the Centre for Organisation Research & Education (CORE) said that the team on an unprecedented visit to the state is scheduled to investigate into alleged encounter killings in Imphal West district of the state.
The team is visiting the state in response to a complaint made by the CORE regarding the alleged extra judicial execution of (L) Ahanthem Amujao, 16 of Sawombung at Khuman Palli, Imphal West by the Imphal West Commandos.
On their arrival in the state, the team had conducted a formal hearing at Hotel Imphal on May 18 and met with family members and other witnesses of the Amujao case, the statement said.
The NCPCR team also took up the case of Sonkhopao Mate, 16 from Chandel district who was allegedly tortured by Assam Rifles, it added.
Following the hearing, the NCPCR team had a consultation with the NGOs of Manipur including members of the Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) of Chandel, Tamenglong, Ukhrul and Imphal West and Imphal East and discussed related issues of protection of children in ‘disturbed’ areas or armed conflict situations.
The CORE release said, “The issues discussed in the petition are impunity in the context of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, various lapses and lacunae in the procedures to be taken up by the Government in cases of culpable homicide involving children in accordance to the guidelines of the Supreme Court, the National Human Rights Commission and the Code of Criminal Procedures (CrPC); the need to assert the supremacy of The Juvenile JusticeAct, 2000 (amended 2006) over AFSPA with regard to children in conflict with the law and involved in the armed conflict in Manipur and other parts of India; and the need to develop a ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ to be adopted by NCPCR to deal with complaints relating to ‘encounter deaths’ of children”.
Other members of the team accompanying the Chairman are Special Adviser (North East Cell) NCPCR, Dr L Mishra; former Director, CBI and DG, NHRC, Dr Kaarthikeyan; Project Coordinator (RTE) NCPCR Ajay Kumar; Sr. Consultant, NCPCR, Sanjay Kumar Tiwari and Consultant, Asian Centre for Human Rights, Santosh Chakma.
The team on a three day visit to the state will leave on May 20 after addressing a press conference at Hotel Classic at 10am.