TODAY -
SC allows Ningshen to be produced in Delhi court
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Agency

New Delhi, June 10 2009: The Supreme Court on Tuesday permitted the CBI to allow production of the alleged murderer of Dr Thingnam Kishan, Hopeson Ningshen, before a trial court in New Delhi instead of Manipur.

Ningshen is the Lt Col of the NSCN (IM) faction's Kiusumong battalion.

The CBI had sought directions from the apex court after it apprehended a threat to Ningshen's life and chances of unrest in the state if he was presented in a Manipur court.

According to the CBI, on February 13 this year, Ningshen and other NSCN(IM) militants abducted Dr Thingnam Kishan Singh, SDO-cum-BDO of Kasom Khullen in Manipur's Ukhrul district, and five members of his personal staff.

The militants allegedly let off two captives who belonged to the Naga community while killing Dr Kishan Singh and two others belonging to the Meitei community.

The killings resulted in ethnic tension between the Meities and Nagas and led to a series of bandhs in Manipur.

In view of the sensitivity of the killing, the state Government transferred the case to the CBI, which subsequently arrested Ningshen on May 29 .

This is the first poser from the Supreme Court to the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government at the Centre and it has a serious bearing on the insurgency-caused deteriorating law and order situation in North Eastern states, particularly Manipur.

A vacation Bench comprising Justices B Sudershan Reddy and Aftab Alam on Tuesday touched upon the seriousness of the problem after the CBI came up with an unusual plea—permit the agency to produce an NSCN (IM) leader accused of murdering a civil servant of Manipur in a court in Delhi instead of the designated one in Manipur lest it could lead to a violent Naga-Meitei clash.

As additional solicitor general Amarendra Saran, appearing for CBI, tried to convey the grave law and order implications of CBI producing NSCN (IM) Kiusumong batallion "Lt Col'' Hopeson Ningshen, arrested on charges of murdering a Meitei SDO Dr Thingnam Kishan Singh, the Bench asked: "What is happening? The situation appears to be critical there".

Saran agreed, for the judges appeared to have thoroughly scanned the petition and the supporting documents relating to the abduction and murder of Singh in February this year by NSCN (IM) cadre which caused a furious outburst of public anger after it learnt that the abducted Naga employees were released before the killing of the Meitei officer in Ukhrul district.

In a rare order, the Bench as an interim order allowed the arrested militant to be produced before a Delhi court and agreed to hear the agency's petition wanting the transfer of the case from Ukhrul to Delhi.

The CBI said the SDO and five of his staff were abducted on February 13 by NSCN (IM) militants.

Three of them, who were Tankhul Nagas, were released the very next day.

The bodies of three abducted officials were recovered from Senapati district on February 17 .

"It may be pertinent to note here that all dead persons belonged to Meitei community and three released persons belonged to Tankhul Naga community, which resulted in ethnic tension between Meiteis and Nagas in Manipur," it said.

Fearing another round of violent clash between the two communities, the CBI said if Ningshen was taken to Manipur for being produced in a court in Ukhrul, it could re-ignite passions and lead to a serious law and order problem, breach of peace, violence and threat to the life and safety of the accused.

The accused would not be safe even in judicial custody, the CBI said reflecting its faith in the ability of the Ibobi Singh government to control the situation.


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