Scribes testify in Khwairamband keithel fake encounter case

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IMPHAL, September 8: Two scribes deposed before the court for cross examination regarding the Khwairamband Keithel fake encounter case which occurred in 2009. Post the CBI submitting a charge sheet to the concerned court regarding the case which involved the death of two civilians namely Chungkham Sanjit and Thokchom Rabina, the two prosecution witnesses namely Ningombam Noren and Shamurailatpam Gautam gave their statements.

The proceedings were held at Cheirap Court, Uripok before the District and Sessions judge, Manipur East, A Guneshwar Sharma this afternoon. According to statement of witness number 59, Noren Ningombam, he was then working with the Sangai Express in the capacity of sub-editor and is presently the bureau chief of Impact TV. On July 23, 2009, he heard the news from a female reporter colleague just as he arrived at his office. They both went to the spot to take stock of the situation in a two-wheeler. Then as they reached the over-bridge area, they came across the bullet riddled body of a woman and an infant being taken care of by another woman.

Later, they heard that a person was shot dead inside Maimu Pharmacy and on arriving at the spot, they saw the dead body of a person being taken out to a vehicle for being transported to the morgue. They shot photos and took the report. When the counsel asked S Noren (38) whether he went inside Maimu pharmacy to take photos, the latter replied that he did not do so and the photos appearing at Tehelka magazine was not his photos.

The next prosecution witness number 60, Shamurailatpam Gautam Sharma (33), in his statement mentioned similarly that he heard the news of the shooting at the bazar area from a reporter of another paper. He was working as a reporter of Poknafam and is presently the executive editor of the said media house. He came towards BT road from Paona Bazar and heard sounds of gunfire; he stopped near the MPP office at Pologround as pedestrians were running helter-skelter. He arrived at BT road later and saw the lifeless body of a woman and a man being loaded on a vehicle. He took his report and took photos but the ones appearing in Tehelka magazine was not related to him, he maintained.

The witnesses were not allowed to listen to one another’s testimony by the state counsel and one had to wait outside the court room while another witness was deposing. It may be mentioned that the incident left two persons dead and caused injury to five persons. The case has been registered twice at City Police Station but was handed over to the CBI on January 16, 2010. In the cross examination held today, the accused police personnel were also present at the Court.

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