Last case brings new name into picture

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NEW DELHI, March 15: The third day of the cross examinations of the witnesses as part of the proceedings before the Supreme Court instituted Inquiry Commission wrapped up around noon today after the state Counsel sought an adjournment for SP Senapati Pushpanjali on the ground that she was unwell. Pushpanjali was to be cross-examined today in her capacity as the Investigation Officer when she was the SDPO and with connection to the alleged extra judicial killing of Akoijam Priyobarta.

Following the request for adjournment, the cross examination of only two witnesses SI Moirangthem Gobardhan Singh and Seram Muhindro Singh, Dy SP/CID were held today in connection with the case of late Akoijam Priyobarta. Moirangthem Gobardhan Singh was cross examined by Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalvez while Seram Muhindro was cross examined by Advocate Rakesh Meihoubam.

Gobardhan Singh, when grilled on the exact details of the encounter that happened on 15 March 2009 disclosed that three teams- one by led by him, one by “ Mike 54” and “Mike 56”, went to the spot of the encounter after receiving information from a person claiming to be from the 16th Assam Rifles. Subsequent questions revealed that Mike 54 was commanded by Huidrom Sukumar Singh, presently posted as Sub-Inspector of Police Imphal West. Incidentally, Sukumar was also involved in the case of the death of

Nameirakpam Gobind Meetei and Nameirakpam Nobo Meetei which was earlier heard during the Imphal sitting. When the Counsel for the Commssion of the identity of the commander of the third party, in this case Mike 56, it was revealed that the group was led by the then 2nd OC Irengbam Khaba Singh who is not interestingly in the list of witnesses being listed for the Commission. The cross examination of Seram Muhindro Singh did not take too long since it came to light that he had taken over as the IO of the case after the Commission was set up. The Commission did express its surprise when he stated that he was the 7th IO of the case.

The final day tomorrow will see the cross examination of Pushpanjali, Jamandar Holal Haokip and Laishram Biarababu, Deputy Commandant 1 MR. The later two will be cross examined with regard to the case of Chongtham Umakanta. Final arguments of the Inquiry Commission proceedings are set to start from March 19. Meanwhile, sources say that the Ministry of Defense is likely to make a presentation before the Commission. The Counsel for AR was not present in the proceedings today unlike earlier.

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