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25 deaths in 13 cases: Activist

The 13 cases of alleged fake encounter killings, which were taken up by the National Human Rights Commission and registered by the CBI's special investigation team (SIT), involves the death of 25 people, a prominent rights activist said on Tuesday.

By Khelen Thokchom in Imphal
  • Published 14.03.18
  •  

Imphal: The 13 cases of alleged fake encounter killings, which were taken up by the National Human Rights Commission and registered by the CBI's special investigation team (SIT), involves the death of 25 people, a prominent rights activist said on Tuesday.

The CBI team on Monday told a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court that it registered 13 cases of alleged fake encounter killings by the army, Assam Rifles and Manipur police.

These cases are under the scanner of the national panel.

The special investigation team was constituted by the CBI following directives by the Supreme Court on a petition jointly filed by Human Rights Alert (HRA), Manipur and Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families Association, Manipur.

The 13 cases were already under the scanner of the commission and in some cases, the panel awarded compensation, according to records maintained by the Human Rights Alert and the families' association.

Though the national panel recommended in 2014 a payment of Rs 5.5 lakh as compensation in one of the cases, the state government is yet to pay the next of kin.

Babloo Loitongbam, the executive director of the HRA, on Tuesday told reporters that altogether 25 people were killed in the 13 cases.

He said four of the victims were cremated by the police as unidentified bodies.

During Monday's hearing, the apex court directed the SIT to first complete the ongoing probe of the 13 cases of the NHRC, followed by cases probed by judicial inquiries and those cases on which the high court had given its findings.

The two organisations listed 1,528 cases of alleged fake encounter killings in their petitions. The incidents of the 13 cases took place from 2008 to 2012.

The bench told the SIT to investigate five cases already inquired into by the Justice Santosh Hegde commission constituted by the Supreme Court and also matters relating to commissions of inquiries.

When the counsel appearing for one of the petitioners raised the issue of lodging of FIRs related to cases of judicial inquiry and commission of inquiry, the bench observed that SIT has so far lodged 42 FIRs and were in the process of conducting the probe.

The apex court fixed April 16 as the next date of hearing in the case.

It directed the state government and its police to make available the records of the these cases to the SIT.

Commenting on the development, Loitongbam appealed to all witnesses to come forward boldly and speak the truth so that justice can be delivered in the cases.

Edina Yaikhom, the secretary of the victim families' association, also sought cooperation of all for the CBI investigation.

Sources said the CBI team recorded statements of relatives of the victims.