A confidential document indicating the involvement of a unit of the Army’s 3 Corps of Intelligence and Surveillance Unit (CISU) in the alleged murder of five individuals from Manipur in 2010 has surfaced on Sunday, prompting Human Rights Alert to urge the Manipur government to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the incident.
The leaked document, in possession of the human rights group and family members of the deceased, allegedly corroborates the affidavit submitted to the High Court of Manipur by whistleblower Lt. Col. Dharamvir Singh. That affidavit gave an account of how an army team perpetrated extortion and killing of innocent people including five Manipuris in clandestine operations. Over the years, the army has been consistently denying their involvement in this case.
The Defence wing PRO said that he was not in a position to comment at the moment.
Babloo Loitongbam, executive director of Human Rights Alert (HRA) Manipur, said the document revealed the proceedings of “honour and awards board” comprising of high level officers of the Indian Army who scrutinised the recommendations for gallantry awards. It includes the award being sought by CISU officer Lt Rubina Kaur Keer and Havildar Varinder Pal Singh and Havildar Shamsher Singh. The dates and time of the killing, on the basis of which they soughed the award coincide with the incident of the killing of Naobi, Ranel and Prem, claimed Loitongbam. The same citation also included Major Nector (now commandant of 11 Assam Rifles), Havildar L Ibonungshi Singh and Sepoy Phulen Basumatry for killing two terrorists, including a Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) leader. This coincided with the dates of the killing of Thangjam Satish and unknown persons after they were picked up from a rented house, Loitongbam claimed.
Lt Col Dharamvir in his affidavit submitted to the High Court of Manipur last July had named the six CISU personnel who had sought awards for killing the five persons. Hijam Naobi, RK Ronel and Thounoajam Prem were killed after being abducted from a rented house in Dimapur on March 10, 2010, allegedly by 3 Counter Intelligence Surveillance Unit of 3 Corps Rangapahar. Earlier, another whistle-blower, Major T Ravi Kiran of the CISU, had reported this alleged murder to the superior officers.
Subsequently, following the direction of the Guwahati High Court the Nagaland Police constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) and the investigations are still underway.
On the army’s denial, Loitongbam countered that Captain Keer has been recommended for Sena Medal for her involvement in the same by the CISU commander. A document recommending Rubina had already been exposed by Yambem Laba, former Acting Chairperson of Manipur Human Rights Commission, after Lt. Col Dharamvir’s revelation.