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regular-article-logo Monday, 17 June 2024

Manipur Human Rights Commission directs state police to submit status report on inquiry

MHRC wants cops to inform panel about person 'under whose command' forces allegedly used excessive force on students

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 05.10.23, 06:27 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture

The Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has directed state police to submit the status report on the inquiry that is underway into allegations of excess force being used by security forces to subdue student protesters in Imphal last week.

The MHRC also wanted the police to inform the commission about the person “under whose command” the forces allegedly used excessive force on the students.

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MHRC chairperson U.B. Saha and member K.K. Singh passed the directives in a three-page order on Tuesday while issuing a notice to the state government.

The commission was acting on two complaints over the alleged use of excess force on September 26 and 27 to subdue students protesting the killing of two Meitei students. The complaints were filed by Ningthoujam Jit Singh of Imphal West district and Mukul Phukon from Sivasagar district in Assam.

Protests were taken out in Imphal Valley after the photos of the deceased students from Imphal, who went missing on July 7, surfaced on social media on September 25. Over 100 students were injured in the action by the security forces to control the protest, sparking anger and protests against the excessive use of force on innocent students.

A police statement last Wednesday said the security forces had used “minimum force” and “fired some tear gas shells” to disperse the student protesters amid allegations that pellet guns were also used to quell the protests.

Complainant Singh had sought the personal appearance of Kuldeep Singh, security adviser to the state of Manipur as well as DGP, Manipur, before the commission and the explanation for taking such “inhuman action upon the peaceful students rally” wherein the “tender-aged boys and girls” had assembled to “express their solidarity” and also to “demand justice” for the deceased students and their families.

Phukon, on the other hand, in his complaint had referred to “viral photos” of “excess” use of force showing personnel of Jat Regiment (army) “severely assaulting a student by forcing him to lie flat on the road at Moirangkhom, Imphal West”.

Phukon had also prayed for directing the security adviser and the DGP to “immediately recover” the bodies of the deceased students and hand them over to their respective families.

The CBI on Sunday arrested four persons in connection with the murder of the two missing students but their bodies are yet to be recovered.

The MHRC bench, while issuing notices to the respondents, directed the Manipur DGP to “also submit status report regarding the enquiry being done by the enquiry authority on or before the next date (November 9)”.

The bench said it was brought to their notice that the DGP had constituted an inquiry committee (headed by an IGP-level officer) on September 28 “to look into the
various reports/allegations of use of excess force by the security forces during maintenance of law and order situations in the last few days in Imphal area. It also appears from the newspapers that the state government has taken responsibility for treatment of the injured students. Therefore, we are of the opinion that it is not necessary to ask the respondent No. 2 (security adviser) and 3 (DGP) to appear before this commission at this stage...”.

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