The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Affidavit deadline extended

Imphal, Sept. 21: The Justice P.G. Agrawal inquiry commission probing the July 23 firing today extended the timeframe for submission of affidavits by relatives of the victims and members of the public after nobody came forward to do so when the deadline expired today.

An uproar over the death of Rabina Devi and Ch. Sanjit, a former militant, in an alleged fake encounter by police commandos in Imphal city forced the Okram Ibobi Singh government to constitute the Agrawal judicial inquiry commission to find out the circumstances leading to the firing.

The commission issued its notice on September 7 seeking statements from witnesses and members of the public by today.

The Apunba Lup, spearheading the protests and the two joint action committees boycotted the proceedings.

“We have received a report from district magistrate A. Ibocha about the incident (the July 23 firing). But nobody from the public filed any memorandum or affidavit. So have decided to extend the deadline till October 8. We are hoping that the members of the public and the relatives would change their mind and come forward,” Agrawal told the media.

He said he was yet to go through the report submitted by the district magistrate. The commission will serve notices to the five persons injured in the firing and also to legal heirs or next of kin of the two victims seeking their statements, he added.

He said if anyone was to be condemned then the person should be given a fair chance of defending himself. Without giving any chance of self-defence you could not condemn anyone, Agrawal said.

He appealed to the relatives of the victims, injured persons and members of the public to come forward and tell the commission through affidavits what they knew to enable the probe panel to find out the truth.

The Apunba Lup announced that despite the police crackdown on its leaders, it would not call of its agitation.

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