HC directs State, Centre to pay for fake encounters

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IMPHAL, September 18: The High Court of Manipur, has directed the Manipur government and Union of India, represented by Home secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, the respondents in two fake encounter cases, to pay compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs each to the petitioners.

The petition was lodged by, N Brojen and N Dolen Singh, brothers of the deceased N Gopal Singh.

Speaking to media persons, the counsel of the petitioners of the two cases, Advocate Khaidem Mani, recalled that on December 23, 2008 in the evening about 3.25 pm, late Ningombam Gopal Singh had gone to a local tea shop located at Heirangoithong Makha Leikai Bokul Makhong run by one Maibam Ongbi Gambhini Devi.

When the deceased was served with tea, two unknown persons suspected to be police in civil dress with small fire arms rushed inside the tea shop and asked the deceased to come out of the shop for talk, he said.

The deceased was over powered by the arm miscreants and dragged out from the shop and taken towards a Santro car which had been parked on the road. Despite being resisted, he was put into the car and driven towards the Manipur University side.

Local women folk witnessed the incident and tried to intervene but in vain. After a short while, a maruti gypsy of Manipur Police commandos followed the Santro car towards the Manipur University, continued Khaidem Mani.

The same night around 9pm, a local cable television reported that a member of PREPAK (GS) was killed in an encounter with Manipur Police commando and 32 Assam Rifles along the inter village road between Heinoupok and Sadokpam Village. A case in this connection was also lodged by a subedars of Manipur Police Commando with the officer-in-charge of the Lamphel Police station that a member of PREPAK (GS) was killed in an encounter.

In consideration of the claim of the petitioner and respondents, the court directed an enquiry to be conducted by the district & session judge, Manipur East. Subsequently, the report was submitted on April 30, 2012 maintaining that N Gopal was killed by the combined force of Manipur Police commando and 32 Assam Rifles in a fake encounter at the inter village road between Heinoubok and Sadokpam village.

Having accepted the report, a double bench of chief justice, L.K Mohapatra and Justice N Koteswar Singh, High Court of Manipur directed the respondents, state of Manipur and 32 Assam Rifles, to pay compensation of 2.5 Lakh each to the petitioner of the case.

Advocate Khaidem Mani, counsel of the petitioner prayed for payment of compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs referring to the decision of the Supreme Court in two similar cases of fake encounter. The Court suggested that if the petitioners are not satisfied with the amount of compensation, to approach the competent civil court to establish a case for higher compensation.

Similarly, the double bench of chief justice, L.K Mohapatra and Justice N Koteswar Singh, High Court of Manipur, directed the State of Manipur to pay a compensation Rs. 5 lakhs to the petitioner of a fake encounter case which killed Longjam Uttamkumar Singh.

The Court directed the compensation be paid within a period of four months from the date of communication of the order.

Longjam Uttamkumar Singh, was killed in alleged encounter with personnel of Manipur Police commandos on March 29, 2008 at about 3.30 pm at Keishamthong Longjam Leirak.

Following his death, the father of the deceased, Longham Shanti Singh, alias Boyai Singh filed a petition claiming that he was killed by police commandos in cold blood.

As per the petitioner, he was survived by a daughter and a wife, and sole earner of his family.

It said that after finishing diploma in civil engineering the deceased started working in different private establishments for earning his livelihood and to support his poor parents. He was working as Sales Executive in “G.N.I Modi Xerox” a private firm till his death.

He was shot dead in a fake encounter by the police commandos in civies at his courtyard.

But, the respondent claimed that he was killed during retaliatory fire in an encounter and levelled many charges at the deceased.

Having heard claims and counter claims from both the counsels, High Court directed the district judge, Manipur East to conduct an enquiry and submit a report.

The report was submitted on July 4, 2012 wherein it maintained that Uttamkumar was killed in cold blood by the personnel of Manipur Police commandos and no encounter took place between the deceased and the commandos as been reported.

Finding the respondents claim inconsistent, the High Court accepted the report of the district and session Judged and directed the respondents to give the compensation.

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