HC orders judicial probe into Ukl fake encounter

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IMPHAL, June 8: The Gauhati High Court today ordered a judicial inquiry into the alleged fake encounter in Ukhrul District on 12 August 2009.

It may be recalled here that one Salmon Hungyo, a resident of Ukhrul was killed by troops of 23 Assam Rifles after he was picked up in front of several witnesses on the Phungyar road.

In a directive today Justice N Kotishwar ordered the District and Sessions Judge, Manipur East to conduct a judicial inquiry in order to ascertain the facts of the incident and submit its findings to the court within 3 months.

The petition filed by the mother of the victim Theingaila said, her son was travelling from Phungyar to Shakok village aboard a bus (MN01-1219, Luxmi Express) on August 12, 2009 when the bus developed a mechanical problem and halted in between Hundung Godah and Sakok village. A team of 23 AR suddenly appeared and started firing towards Salmon Hungyo and the latter hid behind some bushes fearing for his life.

The personnel came down from their vehicle and reportedly assaulted him; he was beaten and tortured at the spot, blindfolded and later hauled up into the AR vehicle. The incident took place between 8 and 8.30 am. The sixteen passengers of the bus also witnessed the said incident.

On the same day, the mutilated and lifeless body of Salmon Hungyo was handed over to Shangshak Police Station at around 8 pm. According to his FIR, Salmon was allegedly killed in an encounter.

Opposing the petition made in court, the counsel of AR in their statement mentions that the team led by Nb/Sub Rang Bahadur Singh was on a road opening duty on Shangshak Road. A few kilometers from Sakok village, the team came under fire from terrorist and in the retaliatory firefight, one terrorist was killed and an AK-56 rifle was recovered.

It may be mentioned that the alleged fake encounter was decried by the public and Tangkhul bodies inclusive of TNL, TKS, TSL, TMNL, THYSO held rallies in Ukhrul district and self imposed a curfew on August 15, 2009.

Salmon was also said to be a sergeant of the NSCN (IM) and Tankhul bodies had exhorted that it was also a violation of the ceasefire.

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