Mark T Haokip Case: The court stated that the investigation authority shall conduct the investigation as per law keeping in mind the direction of CJM/IW.
Updated 5 Jun 2022, 1:57 pm
Session Judge, Imphal West, Manipur on Saturday extended police custody of alleged president of a separatist outfit Mark Thangmang Haokip till June 9 to enable a fair investigation of the case.
The investigating officer of the case prayed for further police custody, citing that the accused is taking undue advantage of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West barring interrogations in the Joint Interrogation Cell (JIC) Kangla and not cooperating with the investigation.
It was submitted that the accused refused to identify three co-conspirators, and prayed that further 10-day police custody be given so as to unearth the entire extent of the conspiracy having international ramifications.
An FIR was registered against the accused on May 30, and the complainant sub-inspector, Imphal Police station L Sanjeeva Singh, submitted a report to the OC, Imphal police station that as per reliable information, the accused has been working as the president of an outfit called ‘Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Kukiland.’
It was further submitted that the group is working for secession from India and to wage or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against the Government of India along with three other office bearers, namely, secretary (Admin) KS Kipgen, secretary, political affairs Lunkhohao Haokip, press secretary CSK Mate.
It was submitted that the accused is also involved in spreading propaganda in social media platforms so as to create instability, communal hatred, animosity, inciting violence, false propaganda, etc. so as to achieve the organisational goals of the government of Kukiland.
Few instances have been cited such as obstruction to mass tree plantation in Thangjing Hills to incite hatred/tension between Meitei and Kuki communities; Koubru incident of April, 2021 where obstruction was given to governments official of DFO, Forest department, Art and Culture Dept in surveying of site of Lord Koubru; Churachandpur incident of May 21, 2022 where a violent mass protest erupted in protest to the summon issued to him for appearance; launching of violent protest on May 25, 2022 in protest to his arrest from Delhi by a violent mob belonging to his organisation.
It was further submitted that the accused also owns a website domain by the name ‘www.kukigovt.com’ to propagate their ideas and hatch conspiracy against the government. Incriminating materials are found on the website in Kuki dialect and are yet to be translated to English.
Counsel of the accused filed a remand objection and prayed for granting bail. The application is treated as a regular bail application.
Investigating officer submitted that a five-day police custody granted by the CJM, Imphal West was not sufficient to investigate the case. The progress of investigation is also hampered by the direction of the CJM, IW not to conduct interrogation in JIC, Kangla.
The counsel further submitted that prima facie materials were not found to attract the grave offence of waging war against nation, etc.
The counsel also submitted that there is no investigation in the 3 FIRs lodged against the accused in 2021 by Imphal Police station and the fourth one is on fabricated grounds after release of the accused on May 27 in the earlier 3 FIRs by a Duty Magistrate.
The court stated that it is not expressing any opinion on the direction of the CJM, Imphal West regarding interrogation in JIC, Kangla as the state government is contemplating to approach the High Court in this regard.
However, the court stated that the investigation authority shall conduct the investigation as per law keeping in mind the direction of CJM/IW. However, a coercive method cannot be used in the name of investigation, it court stated. The accused should be medically examined for every 48 hours during the police custody, it added.
First published:4 Jun 2022, 3:54 pm
crimelawpolice custodyMark T HaokipMark Thangmang Haokip
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