Print Edition - 2016-02-04  |  ASIANEWSNETWORK

Extra-judicial killing

  • Manipur cop confesses to killing ex-PLA terrorist Sanjit Meitei in fake encounter in Manipur

Feb 4, 2016-

No one need to be in any doubt about the extra-judicial killing of 27-year-old Chungtham Sanjit, a former People’s Liberation Army corporal, by Manipur police commandos after the killer himself, a former head constable named Thounamjao Herojit, confessed (on 25 January 2016) to the media that he had no compunctions about “finishing off “ Sanjit as he was merely carrying out the order of a senior police officer. The incident took place on 23 July 2009 in the heart of Imphal town and in broad daylight. A pregnant, 23-year-old woman was killed in the crossfire; according to the police the bullets fired by Sanjit killed her. Within hours chief minister Ibobi Singh told the assembly, then in session, that when the commandos were frisking people entering Khwairamband bazaar, Sanjit tried to escape but was cornered inside a pharmacy, and when asked to surrender he fired at his captors and was shot dead. A pistol and some rounds of ammunition were also seized. This was the official version. But Delhi-based Tehelka magazine, that published a series of photographs of the incident, showed Sanjit being “escorted” by commandos inside a pharmacy and soon enough his body being dragged out and lying on the street. At the time of his killing Sanjit was reportedly trying to earn an honest living. (According to a report, in Manipur alone 1,528 people, including 31 women and 98 children, died in fake encounters between 1979, the year the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act came into force, and May 2012. As per a local political commentator there is little to distinguish between “supposed” victims and “supposed perpetrators”, so most of  these encounters are described as “fake” Our Imphal correspondent reports that Herojit also confessed that Sanjit was not armed at the time of his arrest and he pleaded with the policemen not to beat him up. Ironically, following the CBI inquiry, Herojit and eight of his colleagues were put under suspension and left to fend for themselves. Last December the police raided Herojit’s house and accused him of hobnobbing with militants and he was locked up. Reports say he decided to spill the beans after the authorities sent him to a place where several former rebels are lodged. He suspects this is the authorities’ sinister plan to have him eliminated. A recent report speaks of inmates killing a person lodged there and having “cooked and eaten his flesh.” The treatment meted out to Herojit after  he had carried out his superior’s orders is likely to cause a mood of despondency and resignation among law-enforcement agencies. (Editorial )

Published: 04-02-2016 08:57

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