Strong words indeed and take note, these words came not from any quarter but from the Supreme Court of India. Undoubtedly the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the CBI must have squirmed in its seat when the Supreme Court came out with the tongue lashing for not properly investigating the alleged extra-judicial killings by the Army, Assam Rifles and State police in Manipur. Something terribly wrong, are the words used by the Supreme Court while studying the FIR lodged by the SIT in the said case. The Supreme Court had reasons to be peeved and the very question why FIRs have been lodged against the victims and not the officers is a pointer to the loopholes found in the report filed by the SIT of the CBI. There could be many reason for the half baked FIRs filed by the SIT, for remember the reports were filed on the basis of the reports earlier prepared here by the State police and as the case proceeds it will not be surprising if other similar cases come tumbling out of the closet of the FIRs maintained by the State police in all such cases of ‘encounters’. Certainly the case against alleged extra-judicial killings has come a long way from the day it was admitted in the Supreme Court sometime in October 2012. Demonstrating that it has taken the case of alleged extra judicial killings of 1528 persons seriously, the Supreme Court did not take long in constituting the Justice Santosh Hegde Commission of Inquiry which in its report submitted that six cases it picked randomly were all fake encounters. The findings of the Santosh Hegde Commission set the ball rolling and one just has to recall the time when the Supreme Court thundered and questioned how a 15 year old child can be a terrorist.
The inquiry into the 1528 alleged fake encounter cases started off with a bang, but somehow the inept handling of things by the SIT of the CBI seems to have come as a hiccup to the roller coaster ride of the probe process. With the Supreme Court cracking the whip, the SIT may just yet wake up from its slumber and get down more seriously to the job of registering the FIRs as mandated by the Supreme Court and take things to its logical conclusion. Significant to note too that it was when the case of alleged extra-judicial killings was going on at the Supreme Court that former Head Constable of Manipur Police Commando Th Herojit thought it better to turn whistle blower and narrate how he killed Ch Sanjit on the instructions of his superior officer. The last word on the confession of Th Herojit is yet to be said, but not surprisingly, this has gone to add more muscle in the allegations of extra-judicial killings, for which the case filed by EEVFAM and HRA has been going on at the Supreme Court since 2012. Significant to note too that once the Supreme Court started hearing the case, news of ‘encounters’ in the State have gone down substantially, leading one to question why unidentified gunmen have suddenly stopped opening fire at the security personnel. And herein lies the tale, a big tale.