Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the CBI on Monday submitted charge sheet against Manipur state police personnel in connection with the alleged fake encounter perpetrated by security forces in Manipur. The charge sheet was filed against a police inspector identified as Sagopam Ibotombi, 36, and a constable Ajay Prakash, 34 currently serving with the 1st Manipur Rifles, for killing a militant suspect in 2011.
The policemen were charged with under section 307/34 IPC, 20 UA (p) Arms Act and 5 Explosive Substances Act 25 (1-B) A Act.
As per police FIR, the team of police commando led by the then SI, S. Ibotombi gunned down suspected UG cardre during an exchange of fire that lasted for around eight minutes in the wee hours of June 28, 2011. The commando team reportedly recovered one 9mm pistol with nine lives rounds and two Chinese hand grenades from the possession of the deceased.
However, the SIT based on forensic report claimed that the cause of death of the victim was due to haemorrhages and shock resulting from multiple firearm injuries to the body which was homicidal in nature.
“The reconstruction report of Central Forensic Science Laboratory reveals that the distance and direction of the fire explained by the involved police commandos during the reconstruction of the scene of the crime was not found consistent with the bullet entry and exit wounds mentioned by the doctor in the post-mortem report and it was found that all the injuries were due to bullet fired from the front side”, charged the SIT.
This is the fourth charge sheets filed by the SIT team after it was constituted by the Supreme Court on July 14, 2017, in connection with a PIL seeking a probe into 1,528 cases of alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur. The SIT on July 30 told the apex court that it had filed charge sheet against 14 security personnel involved in the alleged fake encounter killing Manipur.
The PIL was filed by two human rights groups of Manipur namely Extra-Judicial Execution Victim Families Association (EEVFAM) and Human Rights Alert (HRA) for alleged extrajudicial killings perpetrated from 2000 to 2012 by the armed forces and police in Manipur. The apex court has ordered a probe in altogether 52 cases but the SIT has reportedly completed on 7 cases.
While the SC in the last hearing had asked the CBI to submit their next report on September 1, the matter would be heard on 4 September along with a separate petition filed by over 300 Army personnel who had challenged the registration of FIRs against members of the armed forces for carrying out operations in Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir where the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) is in force.