Imphal, Oct. 24: Relatives of those murdered in alleged fake encounters in Manipur today sought justice from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) team that arrived here yesterday.
Commission members held two simultaneous sittings at a hotel here today and heard 46 cases of alleged fake encounter killings. They spoke to both family members of those killed and state government officials, including police officers.
Relatives of the victims had filed these cases before the national commission earlier.
Yesterday, commission members met rights activist Irom Sharmila at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences here.
Commission chairman K.G. Balakrishnan and member Satyabrata Pal heard some of the cases while members S.C. Sinha and Cyriac Joseph held the hearing in another room of the same hotel.
“Remove all the culprits who were responsible for killing of my 19-year-old son, Orsonjit Singh, in a fake encounter. If they are allowed to continue in the uniformed service more innocents will die,” said Lata Devi, the youth’s mother.
A Supreme Court-appointed commission, headed by Justice N. Santosh Hegde, found Imphal-resident Orsonjit was killed in a fake encounter in 2010. The commission probed five other cases, which were found to be fake encounters. These cases are now pending in the apex court.
After hearing the relatives, officials of the state home department and police officers, the commission expressed its displeasure with the slow response from the state government in its recommendations and directives.
Commission member Satyabrata Pal asked deputy secretary (home) Yaiskul Singh to ensure that the government responds to all the earlier directives of the commission relating to these cases without any further delay.
The hearings found that police investigators did not collect evidence, like spent cartridges, fingerprints of the victims, to establish the fact that the seized weapon belonged to the victims.
Pal observed that standard procedure for investigation and collection of evidences had not been followed while investigating an encounter killing case.
In one case, the commission expressed doubts about the veracity of a claim made by the police that a piece of paper recovered from a victim was actually recovered from him. The police produced the document (a demand letter of a militant group) to show that the victim killed by the police was a militant.
The commission directed the police investigator to submit the post-mortem report in this case.
The commission will meet representatives of NGOs, civil society bodies and public leaders tomorrow to listen to their grievances.