Inspector Devendra and Addl SP Jhaljit depose before July 23 probe panel

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IMPHAL, Jan 31: One of the nine accused police personnel charge-sheeted by CBI in connection with July 23 BT Road firing incident, Inspector H. Devendra and Additional SP (Ops) of Imphal West, Dr. AK Jhaljit made their depositions today before the Justice PG Agarwal Inquiry Commission set up by the state government to probe the BT Road firing incident of July 23, 2009 in which a pregnant woman and a youth were killed.
The hearing of the Inquiry Commission was held at the Conference Hall of Hotel Imphal, North AOC. Both the officers were served summons repeatedly by the Commission before but they could not be present physically before the Commission. However, their counsels had earlier submitted statements to the Commission.
Inspector H. Devendra testified before the Commission that he was posted and functioning as officer in-charge of Commando Bazar Unit stationed at Tombisana High School Complex opposite Assembly Secretariat since March, 2009. There are about 120 commandos working under him and his main duty was to monitor deployment and working of commandos in Bazar area.
He stated that riflemen Toyaima and Khaiminthang were detailed for duty at the place where the first incident occurred. The first incident took place around 10 am. At that time he was at his office and he heard sounds of firing.
On receiving wireless message regarding the firing, he along with S.I. Punsiba Kabrambam came out of the office and proceeded towards Hao Keithel. He saw people running on the road. He stopped his vehicle and enquired as to what was happening. He was told by someone that one person has fired and run towards Gambhir Singh Shopping Arcade.
Devendra further said that both of them proceeded towards that side. He saw members of security personnel including his commando mobile teams there. He then directed his commando mobile teams to surround the area for conducting a search operation. He also joined the search and went up to one of the buildings though he could not exactly remember the name of the building. After searching about three floors of the said building, he came down and returned to Gambhir Singh Shopping Arcade.
He saw some pressmen standing on the eastern mouth of the flyover bridge and went to them to enquire as to what they had seen. While he was talking to them, he again heard sounds of firing. He thereafter rushed towards Gambhir Singh Shopping Arcade. He stood outside and took position.
After few minutes, he was told that one person had been killed inside Maimu Pharmacy. He then entered into the pharmacy and saw a person lying dead inside. The room of the pharmacy was dark. He saw a small firearm lying near the dead body. Except that small firearm, he did not see any firearm lying nearby or in the precinct. He then came out of the pharmacy room.
In the meantime some more officers including SSP of Imphal West L. Kailun came. Along with the SP, he again went to the spot where the dead body was lying. The SSP directed the police personnel from police station to take up follow up measures and as per the directive of the SP; he dispersed his commandos as it was time for starting the Assembly Session.
Devendra further testified that he received certain information about some UGs who had entered into the bazaar area prior to the incident and directed the control room to pass on the information so as to alert the commando mobile teams who are on duty in bazar area. However, he did not see any act of firing and did not make any firing at the spot though he was carrying his service arm.
On the other hand, the Additional SP of Imphal West, Dr. AK Jhaljit deposed that  he was posted and working as supervisory officer of the commandos working in Imphal West district assisting the SSP of Imphal West since 2007.
His main duty as Additional SP (Ops) is to supervise the working of the commandos through the OCs of the commando units and sometimes he used to lead the units in some major counter insurgency operations.
On the morning of July 23, 2009, he was at the Police Headquarters. There he received information from a person that a woman had been killed by a gunman at Bazar area, Jhaljit stated.
He further testified that he saw SSP moving out on his vehicle and thereafter he followed on his vehicle along with the escort. As there was heavy traffic, he came through Paona Bazar towards B.T. road. He passed through sulabh toilet and saw a dead body in female dress lying near the toilet.
He then talked to his policemen, pressmen and public to find out as to what was happening. While he was talking to them, he heard sounds of gunshot and thereafter he came to know that one person had been killed inside a shop.
He along with the SSP came to the place where the second dead body was lying. He remained outside and did not see the dead body as such. The police personnel from the Police Station took up follow up action as required.
Jhaljit also deposed that before the occurrence of that incident, he received wireless information that some UGs had entered into bazaar area. He asked his OCs of the Units to remain alert as the Assembly Session was going on. The message was also passed on by him through control room.
However, he did not personally see the acts of firing and after the incidents had taken place he did not interfere as it was with the realm of investigation. The work of investigation of crimes is generally carried out by the OC, the Additional SP added.
The next hearing of the Commission has been fixed on February 21 at 10:30 am at the Conference Hall of Imphal Hotel.

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