IMPHAL, January 30: The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, CHRI has viewed with deep concern the admission made by Manipur Police head constable Thounaojam Herojit Singh on January 25 to the media on the alleged fake encounter which took place in July 2009.
According to a statement of CHRI, ‘Herojit’s allegation makes out a case of premeditated murder. It contradicts and compromises the Manipur Police’s core claims of ‘encounter’ made on oath to the court and to the CBI’. It directly implicates senior police officers and the political leadership. This must now be investigated as must the possibility of obstruction of justice by the police establishment and its lawyers added the statement.
The statement continued that demanding the fullest action under the authority of the law, CHRI’s Chair, Wajahat Habibullah pressed, “If true, this amounts to gross abuse of responsibility by the authority assigned the task of enforcing the law. It is imperative that the CBI immediately investigate the senior police officers and any higher authority be they, bureaucrat or politician, who allegedly gave orders for this killing. The state must fully prosecute those who give such orders as a linked offence alongside those who pull the trigger”.
Further according to the statement, CHRI has demanded that the CBI must initiate prompt investigation to probe and identify the senior police officers and politicians who gave the orders to kill Sanjit. Any police-politician nexus must be unearthed and exposed by credible objective investigation. It also demanded that the CBI must ensure Herojit’s (and all witnesses) safety for the duration of the investigation and trial. At the same time the Manipur State Human Rights Commission has been urged to initiate its own inquiry and the state and central governments must strongly and publicly condemn the action exposed by this revelation and reaffirm their unflinching commitment in support of the law, it said.
Sanjoy Hazarika, member of CHRI’s Executive Committee and specialist on Northeastern issues said, “Herojit`s statement show the dark hole into which Manipur`s society and government have fallen and the relentless collapse of values. The impunity can end only with genuine accountability, not the kind of cover-up we see unraveling in this case”, it maintained.