Why Manipur head constable Herojit Singh became an encounter cop

Singh himself says that a diary containing the details of numerous encounters is now in the possession of the CBI. "If they ask me about these cases I can give them precise details of each case,’’ he claims off camera.

Written by Esha Roy | Updated: January 28, 2016 2:16 pm
Thounaojam Herojit Singh Thounaojam Herojit Singh

Suspended head constable Herojit Singh’s confessions on the events which unfolded on July 23, 2009 leading to the death of a former PLA insurgent Sanjit Meitei and that of a pregnant bystander Th Rabina has opened a can of worms.

Associates close to Herojit in Manipur’s police force say that this may have been the most high profile incident (the incident which got most media attention) that the encounter cop was involved in but he is alleged to have been involved in other cases too. He was Manipur police’s main “hitman’’ till the Sanjit-Rabina case.

READ | Imphal encounter: 6 years later, the admission — ‘Yes, I shot him dead, he was unarmed, officer told me to’

Singh himself says that a diary containing the details of numerous encounters is now in the possession of the CBI. “If they ask me about these cases I can give them precise details of each case,’’ he claims off camera.

Singh’s story is common in Manipur. It’s the story of individuals, families caught between a violent state administration and an even more violent insurgency. “My mother used to work in the government, so we would get demand notes all the time. There was one particular group which had been asking us for money every other month – one time they asked us to deliver Rs 20 lakh. Where would we get such an amount? We had to sell off all our land, our paddy fields, everything we had to meet these demands. When I was in class XI my parents got me a Hero Honda bike. But the insurgents would take it away from me and use it. I rarely got to ride it. So I was furious. I asked them to leave us alone. I asked them why they were harassing us. They said we’ll stop harassing your family if you join us. So I agreed,’’ says Singh.

It’s only when his parents pleaded with the militants that they let him go. “But not before giving me a sound beating,’’ he recalls. Singh never forgot the humiliation of that day. “That’s when I decided to join the police,’’ he says.

In 2001, he trained to be a Manipur commando and eventually became the man with one of the highest encounter counts to his name. “As far as I was concerned, what I was doing was in the service of the nation,’’ claims Singh. Singh came out with his startling revelations about the encounter because he feels he has a target on his back now. With the knowledge that he possesses, he has become an encumbrance for his police force and his colleagues.

The 2009 fake encounter reported in The Indian Express is still under the CBI radar which is yet to complete its investigation. In all, there are nine accused in the case – Singh and eight other Manipur commandos – all of whom are under suspension. None of them have been arrested.

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  1. V
    Jan 27, 2016 at 12:50 pm
    The pregnant bystander was witness to the cold blooded murder and she was eliminated by the great Indian police bustards.
  2. A
    Jan 27, 2016 at 7:30 pm
    Militants and terrorists understand the language of the gun. I salute our brave Indian security forces to speak to the terrorists in the language they understand. Terrorists must be elimina mercilessly. Period.
  3. C
    Jan 27, 2016 at 5:59 pm
    terrorists should be eliminated in that fashion only. When they do not show mercy, they also donot deserve it.
  4. L
    L bhadrapati Devi
    Jan 27, 2016 at 4:09 pm
    Extra judicial killing is very common in Manipur. The stark revelation of Herojit after the fake encounter episode may change the discourse of Manipur police highhanded Commando.
  5. R
    Rakesh Tiwari
    Jan 27, 2016 at 9:04 pm
    The man is hero. He should be HOUNOURED FOR the determination and valor.
  6. B
    Jan 27, 2016 at 1:34 pm
    Vipu, mind it, how you treat the so called 'Mayangs" . Hundreds of innocent victims suffered from your high handedness; just in Imphal valley; not in hills dominated by decent Nagas.
  7. V
    Vasudevan Venugopal
    Jan 27, 2016 at 2:24 pm
    The System trains commandos to eliminate terrorists. Once they start carrying out their job in a professional manner, the system suspends them. what an irony?
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