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Glare on ‘fake’ encounters
- Ibobi promises probe during homecoming ceremony

Imphal, Sept. 26: Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh today pledged to look into the recent allegations of fake encounters by security personnel.

The probe comes after allegations that Assam Rifles and police commandos had gunned down two militants, who had surrendered to the Assam Rifles, in separate incidents.

“If reports that the killed militants had surrendered are true then we will look into how they were killed and whey they were moved around,” Ibobi Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a surrender ceremony at the head office of the Assam Rifles here today.

Altogether 114 militants from 11 different outfits laid down their arms at the function today. Home minister Gaikhangam, director general of police Yumbnam Joykumar Singh and IG (South) Assam Rifles, Maj. Gen. U. K. Gurung, also attended the ceremony.

The militants laid down 114 weapons, including AK rifles, lethod guns, carbines, revolvers and pistols.

Today’s surrender programme came at a time when the Assam Rifles and police commandos were accused of killing two surrendered cadres of the Peoples Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Prepak) in two separate incidents.

Assam Rifles troops gunned down Oinam Haloba alias Newson, 20, in an alleged encounter on September 19 at Kangchup in Imphal West along with another suspected militant. The family of Haloba claimed he was a Prepak cadre, who surrendered to the Assam Rifles last year.

The militant’s mother also claimed that she dropped him off at M-Sector, an army office in Imphal two weeks ago.

In the other incident, police commandos gunned down another Prepak militant identified as Takhellambam Gobin, 22, on September 16 in Imphal East. Gobin’s mother, Nilashakhi Devi, said her son had surrendered to the Assam Rifles last year.

“After surrendering, he was staying at an Assam Rifles post in Imphal East. The day he was killed he came home for a visit after getting permission. He was killed in a fake encounter,” Nilashakhi Devi said.

The IG (South) office has organised mass surrender programmes in the past few years.

The Revolutionary Peoples Front said the surrender programmes were “dramas” and some of them would be killed later.

“If those killed are surrendered militants it needs to be verified why they came out of their camps and where they went,” Ibobi Singh said.

IG (South) Assam Rifles declined to face the media after the surrender programme.

Earlier, Ibobi Singh welcomed the surrendered militants and said the situation in Manipur had improved but was still not up to the desired level.

“The militants have changed their mindset and more and more are coming forward to rejoin the mainstream. At the same time, the government has started reform programmes and the problem of militancy will not be allowed to come in the way of development,” Ibobi Singh said.