The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Tuesday submitted a charge sheet against eight Manipur police personnel in an alleged fake encounter case in which a 12-year-old minor was killed in 2009.
This is the 17th charge sheet filed by the SIT team after it was constituted by the CBI in compliance to a Supreme Court order issued on July 14, 2017, to probe into as many as 1,528 cases of extra-judicial killings in Manipur allegedly perpetrated by the Army, paramilitary forces and Manipur police.
The charge sheet was submitted before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West by the SIT after having completed an investigation in the alleged fake encounter of 12-year-old Md Azad Khan of Phoubakchao Makha Leikai on March 4, 2009.
The eight personnel, who have been named in charge sheet, are Bronson Thanga Chiru, the then Havildar, CDO, Thoubal; Ksh Rama Singh, the then rifleman, CDO Thoubal; PS Sanjoy Anal, the then rifleman, CDO Thoubal; Phuritsabam Suresh Meetei, the then Havildar, CDO, Thoubal; ThangjapaoTouthang, the then rifleman/Driver CDO Thoubal; K Rabichandra Singh, the then rifleman, CDO Thoubal; Ng Tronil James, the then rifleman, CDO Thoubal and M Budhichandra Singh, the then rifleman, CDO Thoubal. All of them were charged under section 302/323/506 and 201 read with 34 IPC.
Angom Bimolson Singh, the then rifleman of CDO Thoubal has expired. Three Assam Rifles jawans namely Vijay Singh Balhara, the then major, 21 Assam Rifles; Gopal Singh, the then rifleman/cook, 21 Assam Rifles; Md Riyakat Ali, the then rifleman/cook, 21 Assam Rifles are liable for prosecution for the commission of offences under section 302/323/506 and 201 read with 34 IPC.
The prosecution sanction under 197 CrPC as well as under section 6 of AFSPA for prosecution against Vijay Singh, Gopal Singh and Md Riyakat Ali are still awaited from the competent authority. In the charge sheet, the CBI stated that it would be submitting a supplementary charge sheet after receiving sanction from the competent authority.
However, the prosecution under section 197 CrPC for prosecution under section 302/323/506 and 201 read with 34 IPC against Bronson Thanga Chiru, Ksh Rama, PS Sanjoy Anal, Phuritsabam Suresh, Thangjapao Touthang, K Rabinchadra, Ng Tronil James, M Budhichandra have been received from the special secretary (Home), Manipur on October 22, 2019.
Extra-Judicial Execution Victims Family Association Manipur (EEVFAM) and Human Rights Alert are the petitioners in the case.
According to the petition, Md Azad Khan was allegedly killed after being apprehended by a combined team of Manipur police and the Assam Rifle personnel from his residence at Phoubakchao Makha Leikai, Imphal West on March 4, 2009.
The CBI charge sheet stated that Md Azad Khan’s death was not a genuine encounter. In fact, the boy was dragged from the veranda of Md Ashrat Ali, uncle of the deceased, and shot dead at a nearby Paddy field. It stated that arms and ammunition were planted by the alleged security personnel. They further cooked up a false story of encounter to screen the incident from the officials, it added.
On that fateful day, 12-year-old Md Azad, who was studying in class 7, son of Md Wahid Ali had taken brunch and was with his family members when a team of Manipur police and Assam Rifles rushed towards his house, as per the charge sheet. The commando personnel started dragging Md Azad Khan towards the northern side of his house for about 70 meters and beat him severely with their rifle butts, it stated.
It stated that the parents requested the personnel not to take away their son but they were ignored and the boy was dragged towards the northern side of the paddy field. Consequently, Md Azad Khan fell down and one commando fired upon Md Azad Khan and shot him dead instantly, it stated. Thereafter, the commando personnel threw a pistol towards the dead body of Md Azad Khan, it further stated. After killing Md Azad Khan, the body was taken away by the commando personnel in their vehicle, it added.
However, police FIR claimed that Md Azad Khan, who was slain UG, was killed in a cross-firing incident.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West has registered a case and fixed February 5 for cognisance hearing against the eight personnel