The Chief judicial Magistrate Thoubal has rejected the closure report of SIT/CBI and directed the SIT of CBI for further investigation of the case on April 7 in connection with the death of Ningthoujam Thopchao.
The court ruled for further investigation into the case concerning the incident of February 1, 2007, during which a civilian, Ningthoujam Thopchao was allegedly killed in a crossfire between personnel of 172 battalion BSF posted at the then Nongpok Sekmai primary health centre and unknown miscreants.
The final and closure report submitted to the CJM Thoubal was returned back to the CBI for further investigation. “The investigation has not been done properly and completely,” stated the court.
The court issued directives for further investigation to extract and collect further information and materials.
Meanwhile, the Extrajudicial Execution Victim Families’ Association, Manipur (EEVFAM) welcomed the order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Thoubal directing the SIT/CBI to conduct further investigation, for the second time, on the extrajudicial killing of (Late) Ningthoujam Thopchao of Nongpok Sekmai on February 1, 2007 by personnel of 172 Bn BSF.
It may be noted the killing of Thopchao is one of the 39 incidents being investigated by the CBI, of the 1,528 cases being submitted to the Supreme Court by the EEFVAM and HRA.
The CBl submitted its closure report to CIM-TBL on March 13, 2019 on the grounds of lack of evidence. A protest petition was filed by EEFVAM and wife of deceased Ningthoujam Ongbi Sunibala to the CJM, Thoubal on December 30, 2019.
However, the CBI filed the second closure report on March 24, 2021, stating that “no sufficient evidence has come on record to establish beyond doubt that the alleged BSF personnel acted with any malafide intention, which resulted in the death of deceased (L) Ninghtoujam Thopchao Singh.”
Counsel of EEVFAM advocate N Subhaschandra and Sunibala filed a second protest petition, praying for rejecting the closure report for the second time; and directing the investigating officer for further investigation into the case; making charge against the accused; and taking cognisance of the offence levelled against the accused persons.
The incident took place on February 1, 2007 at around 9.20 pm. There was an open fire between personnel of 172 battalion BSF posted at Nongpok Sekmai Primary health Centre and unknown persons. In the crossfire, one civilian Ningthoujam Thopchao, 24, son of Shamu of Nongpok Sekmai sustained bullet injuries and later succumbed to his injuries.