IMPHAL, October 4: A Judicial enquiry conducted by District Judge, Manipur East found that one Thiyam Amit Meitei was killed by the personnel of 23 Assam Rifles and Manipur Police commandos on December 29,2008 in a fake encounter at Nongren Chingthak ,Imphal East District.
The report mentions that there was no exchange of fire or an encounter taking place between the combined security force and KCP outfit on the mentioned date.
According to a petition, (Case No.68 of 2009) submitted to the Gauhati High Court by the mother of the deceased, Thiyam Tanoubi Leima of Tumukhong Awang Leikai . Her son Amit left with his friend Moirangthem Inaobi Meitei on the latter’s motorcycle for procuring timber from Tsomyang Village with Rs 10,500 in cash. Along the way, they reached Sabungkhok village which is located on the Imphal-Ukhrul road in the morning.
A team of the mentioned combined force came in a Maruti Gypsy and a truck from the opposite direction. Later, the duo was accosted by the security personnel. They were then blindfolded at the spot and taken away in the Maruti Gypsy to an AR camp located at Yaingangpokpi.
It was learnt that Amit had been shot dead in an encounter on December 29 at Nongren Chingthak by the combined force and his parents had learnt of their son’s death on December 30 after visiting the RIMS morgue.
His parents had inquired at Tshomyang Village and found that they did not arrive at the village Chief’s residence to whom they were supposed to give the timber money. On the way back at Yaingangpokpi bazaar, some persons had informed them that two persons were picked up from Subungkhok Khundol by security personnel and one AR jawan was driving the motorcycle.
Moirangthem Inaobi Meitei, who was abducted along with Amit also testified that they were arrested by the combined team on the said date. He stated that he was severely tortured and interrogated by AR personnel. On the 5th day of his confinement, he was transported at Sagolmang AR camp where he learnt that Amit was killed. Later, on 1st January 2009,he was handed over to police commandos and brought to the official quarter of then Deputy Speaker, MLA Thounaojam Shyamkumar at Kanglapat and released.
The lawyers appearing on behalf of Manipur Police and the Assam Rifles and the concerned personnel had commented that on the said date,the combined team laid an ambush after receipt of underground activity in the area. At around 7 pm, some suspicious movement of 5/6 persons were noticed and challenged to stop and identify themselves. The unidentified persons fired towards the security personnel and an encounter ensued for 10 minutes. Later, a dead body was found along with a 9mm pistol, four live rounds, two empty 9mm cases, four empty AK-47 cases.
During the inquiry, it was mentioned to the Judge by the police respondents that the night was dark and there were no street lights. They had used using torch lights.
However, the Assam Rifles respondent had stated that they had two night vision equipment which were contradictory.
The Judge also found it surprising that when the combined team was fired from the nearby hill and also from the foothill, there were no casualties on the side of the combined force. The encounter took place for ten minutes but only 2 cases of 9mm and 4 cases of AK-47 were recovered from the place of occurrence. There was also no material to establish whether the recovered 9mm pistol was serviceable or not.
Thus, the Judge found the testimonies of the petitioners more convincing and the respondents have failed to establish that an encounter took place at Nongren Chinglak on December 29,2008. Th Amit was killed by the combined force in a fake encounter, it was mentioned in the report.
The inquiry report has been submitted to the GHC on July 27, 2012. The petitioner was represented by M Rakesh of Human Rights Law Network.