TODAY -
There was an encounter on 7/23, claims 'witness'
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 11 2009: Adding a new twist to the ongoing investigation of Justice Agarwal Commission into the July 23 BT Road incident, a witness today insisted that Ch Sanjit was not gunned down inside the pharmacy as had been reported, even as two others claimed that an encounter ensued on the said day.

Two witnesses who reportedly volunteered to appear before the Commission asserted that an encounter did occur on the BT Road on July 23 .

According to one of the witnesses namely Mr X, he along with a cousin, Mr Y were about to park his (Mr X) Maruti Van on the southern side of at BT Flyover, after dropping Mr Y's younger sister at HRD Academy, Ghari.



Encounter 'witness' tries to evade photographers from the press and a woman hurt in the case


However, as the first parking area was found to be cramped, both decided to idle the vehicle on the Pologround side (parking slot).

Mr X stayed put inside the parked car as Mr Y walked away towards ICICI bank, which is located in Thangal Bazar area.

Informing that Mr Y returned from the bank after about an hour and was about to cross northern side of the BT road (under BT flyover) they observed two commando personnel frisking a person wearing black shirt, Mr X maintained.

He further said the individual in black shirt wriggled out of the commandos' grip and fled at the same instance also firing shots at the security personnel resulting in a brief shoot-out.

The youth, according to the witness, continued to run on the eastern direction and fired at the police commandos, who also retaliated.

With the people running helter skelter, he and the cousin tried to drive away from the scene but saw a man lying on the road with injuries and evacuated the wounded individual to RIMS Hospital, where they came to know that the individual was one Pangambam Lukhoi.

Presenting his statement before the panel, Mr Y said he and Mr X came to the market place with the intention of watching a movie but due to inability to find a proper parking space, he instead decided to make an unscheduled he and Mr X came to the market place with the intention of watching a movie but due to inability to find a proper parking space, he instead decided to make an unscheduled visit to the bank.

regarding the shooting incident, he said the police commandos were frisking the youth in a black shirt near the public toilet complex on the northern side of BT road.

Mr Y also claimed to observe the fleeing youth headed towards the street that leads to Assembly Road from BT Road.

On the other hand, contrary to assertion of the Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh at the floor of the assembly regarding former PLA member Ch Sanjit being slain inside Maimu Pharmacy (BT Road), proprietor of the pharmaceutical outlet namely Thoudam Chandrakumar of Uripok Naoremthong Laishram Leikai told the Commission that Sanjit was not shot dead inside his shop.

Deposing before the Commission at Hotel Imphal today, Chandrakumar recounted that on July 23, 2009 at about 10-10.30 am he reached his pharmacy and while chatting with some customers, heard gun-shots on the western side of BT Road.

Elaborating that he observed many people running towards the opposite direction of the firing with some entering his shop, the witness said on seeing armed security personnel arriving at the scene at short notice he too laid low inside the shop along with others.

Conveying that he heard conversations inside his shop, Chandrakumar also mentioned that moments later more gun-shots were fired followed by 'some persons' from inside the same shop asking for more police as well as summoning vehicle of City Police.

Recalling the incident, he claimed to have seen lifeless body of an unidentified person being brought out from near an adjacent shop (Social Time Emporium) but conceded that he could not point out the exact spot where the individual might have been shot dead.

Expressing that he could not recall identities of those security personnel who were later found to be inside his Pharmacy, Chandrakumar also informed the probe panel that a wall partitions Social Time Emporium and his Pharmacy even though the two shops share a common doorway.

Meanwhile, N Keshorani Devi, against whom the Commission had served arrest warrant for failing to appear on an earlier occasion, was produced before the inquiry panel by the police today.

Keshorani was among five persons who suffered bullet wounds in the BT Road firing incident.

The lady told the Commission that she stood up on hearing gunfire and was about to run in to the market shed only to realise before reaching the shed that she was wounded.

Conveying to the panel that after her discharge from hospital she resumed her economic sustenance activity of selling goods for a brief period at the Khwairamband Keithel but ceased due to health problems, Keshorani also pointed to the Commission that till date she has not received any financial or material assistance from the side of the Government, with the exception of an MLA who extended some financial succour to the firing victim.

fixing the next date of hearing on November 26, the Commission also issued directives to the police to summon owner of Social Time Emporium namely Takhellambam Ranbir Singh as well to intimate CO of Churachandpur-based 3 Assam Rifles for producing rifleman Pangambam Lukhoi Singh in the next sitting.


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