IMPHAL, October 3: The District and Sessions Judge, Manipur East has submitted an inquiry report regarding the death of one Kumari Yumnam Robita Devi, 18 , a resident of Waiton Makha Leikai.
According to the inquiry report, the girl was hit by a bullet fired by CRPF personnel and not by a stray bullet of an encounter which occurred on April 9, 2002.
In response to a petition submitted by the mother of the deceased, Y Radhamani to the Gauhati High Court. It was directed by the same Court to conduct a judicial enquiry regarding the incident on June 11, 2010.
The petition of Radhamani mentions that on April 9, at around 2.30 pm, some personnel of 121 Batallion and 134 Batallion were returning along the Pangei Road after fetching drinking water from Koirengei. Nearby Waiton area, the convoy was ambushed by some militants and later fled the scene. At least four CRPF personnel were killed and in retaliation, the CRPF troops had fired indiscriminately and tortured many individuals in the area.
During that time Kumari Robita was waiting for a bus at a nearby shed located at Pangei Bazar. On hearing the shots, she had ducked at the shed. One personnel of the CRPF had come into the market shed and when she looked up at the personnel, she was shot dead. The houses of the area was raided by the CRPF and many were beaten up and tortured. Another person identified as Asem Romajit was killed in front of a hair cutting saloon.
The testimony was similarly backed up another six individuals who also testified in the enquiry. Among them,Naorem Manglembi, who runs the vegetable stall at the Bus shed presented her testimony that Y Robita and one of her friends were waiting for transport at the shed. Later, gunshots were heard. The three of them ducked inside the shed and later heard a voice saying “sabko maro, sabko maro”. She also heard the sound of articles being destroyed in nearby shops and heard sound of beating and people crying for help.
At the time, one CRPF personnel had come to the shed and fired a bullet towards them and hit Robita. She died at the spot. Later, both were made to get up and directed towards a nearby field. Only after arrival of Manipur Police at the site, they were set free.
In contrast to the statements, the CRPF respondents had also presented their testimony that were ambushed and four personnel were killed and another two were wounded. They had mentioned that Romita died due to firing from the insurgents.
Regardingly, after examining both the petitioner and respondent witnesses, the judge in the inquiry report mentions that the testimonies of the petitioners are more convincing and trustworthy than the CRPF witnesses and concluded that Romita died at the hands of a CRPF personnel.
The inquiry report was forwarded to the Gauhati High Court on May 2, 2012. The petitioners were represented by Rakesh Meihoubam of Human Rights Law Network.