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Demand for CBI probe

Imphal, Oct. 11: The suspension of four policemen in an alleged fake encounter is not going to calm public anger as civil society groups are gearing up for an agitation, if the government does not take further action.

The groups also demanded a CBI inquiry into the case so as to give justice to the victim’s family.

A team of police commandos shot dead Thiyam Romenkumar, 45, a former militant from Irom Mejijrao in Imphal West at Lamdeng village in another part of the district on October 2.

Commandos claimed they fired in retaliation when Romenkumar hurled a grenade. A pistol and two hand grenades were also recovered from him, the commando team claimed.

Romenkunmar was killed a day after the Supreme Court admitted a petition filed by two local NGOs, seeking constitution of a special investigation team to probe fake encounter killings in Manipur.

Luwangamba, son of the victim, however, said his father was taken away by some policemen from their home on the night of October 1.

The family, which found his body wearing a half pant and T-shirt, at the mortuary of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences here, claimed that Romenkumar was wearing a sleeveless vest when he was taken away.

Following strong protest from the relatives and locals, four policemen, including an inspector, who were allegedly involved in the incident, were placed under suspension four days after the killing.

Not satisfied with this, a joint action committee formed by residents of Irom Meijrao today warned the government it would launch an agitation, if the government failed to give sterner punishment to those responsible for Romenkumar’s death.

The committee and civil society groups, including women and human rights groups, have expressed unhappiness with the government’s inaction.

“The suspension is not enough. It is a clear case of fake encounter killing. The government should take stern action against the culprits,” Phunindro Konsam, chairman of Committee on Human Rights, said.

The civil society groups also demanded the case should be handed over to the CBI so that the whole truth could be brought out.

A source in the state police department said a departmental inquiry had been initiated and if the charges against the suspended personnel were found to be true, they would be punished according to the law.

After the incident, home minister Gaikhangam had said he would not protect any policeman or jawan involved in fake encounters or custody killings.