Manipur government Thursday suspended five police personnel in connection with the alleged custodial killing of a man from Lilong, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh informed the House on Friday. The Chief Minister was replying to questions raised by Congress MLA Kh. Joykishan, during the two-day session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly which began on Thursday.
Abdul Gaffar, 40, was allegedly picked up by a joint team of Manipur police commandos and 26th Assam Rifles personnel in the wee hours of Thursday from his residence at Lilong Usoipokpi Makha, Thoubal district. The family claimed that the security forces did not issue any arrest memo.
Later Gaffar’s family reportedly found his body deposited at the mortuary of Jawaharlal Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal East. Decrying the arrest, locals of Usoipokpi blocked the stretch of road from Imphal to Moreh of the National Highway 102.
Manipur CM further informed the House that an FIR has been lodged against those involved and a magisterial enquiry has been initiated to probe the incident. Joykishan asked the CM about the action taken against the Assam Rifles personnel who were involved in the case and why actions have action only been taken against the police.
Singh responded that Manipur police is under the state government while Assam Rifles is under the Ministry of Home Affairs. “I have telephonically informed the Home ministry and requested to hand over the involved Assam Rifles personnel to the state police,” he added.
“All those involved in the incident will be booked. The government will not allow any security force, be it police or the Assam Rifles or the Army, to act in such a manner,” Singh told the House.
When asked about the government’s decision to provide ex-gratia and job to the next of the kin of the victim, the Chief Minister replied: “As we have established that it is a custodial death. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the Government to compensate for the loss.”
A memorandum of understanding was signed also signed on Thursday between the Manipur government and the joint action committee constituted to probe the killing. As per the memorandum, the Government has assured that the state government will consider to suspend the commando personnel involved in the incident and initiate a magisterial enquiry into the incident, provide ex-gratia as per rule and suitable job to the next of the kin.
Abdul Gaffar, a daily wage earner, is survived by wife and five children.