| Gaikhangam pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti in Imphal on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Imphal, Oct. 3: Manipur home minister Gaikhangam has assured the family of a man gunned down by police commandos that action will be taken against the personnel, if claims of a fake encounter were found to be true.
Police yesterday shot dead Thiyam Romen, 45, a former militant from Iriom Mejijrao in Imphal West at Lamdeng.
The police said commandos shot him in retaliation after Romen hurled a grenade towards a police party but it failed to explode. A pistol and two hand grenades were recovered from him, the police claimed.
Local residents formed a joint action committee alleging that Romen was killed in a fake encounter and took the matter before the home minister today.
A delegation of the committee urged Gaikhangam to suspend the personnel involved in the case and demanded ex-gratia and government job to the next of kin of the victim.
“The home minister has assured us that he would fulfil our demands within three days. If the government fails to do so, we will launch an agitation,” Bilashini Devi, a spokesperson for the committee, said.
After the post-mortem was performed, the police surrounded the mortuary of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal to prevent any protest by relatives of the victim.
Romen’s family had claimed that a group of suspected police personnel in civil dress took him away on the night of October 1.
“My father was sleeping when some armed persons entered the room forcibly,” Luwangngamba, Romen’s son, who was sleeping with his father, said.
“I tried to stop them but the men kicked me away,” he added.
Romen’s wife and daughter had gone to watch shumang leela (courtyard theatre) nearby, when the armed persons came to their house.
The family also claimed that Romen was wearing a sleeveless cotton vest, but they found his body in a T-shirt.