TODAY -
Tehelka exposes fake encounter
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, August 01 2009: The Tehelka magazine based in New Delhi has exposed the killing of Chungkham Sanjit inside a pharmacy on BT Road at Khwairamband market on July 23 last as a "fake encounter" .

The magazine in its latest edition, Vol 6, Issue 31, August 1-8, 2009 published an exclusive story entitled "Murder in plain sight" under the column� Current Affairs: Fake Encounter, written by Teresa Rehman.

Reports received from different sources in New Delhi said that the latest issue of the Tehelka has created waves in various circles including the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

Clippings of the article and photographs have already been sent to the Government of Manipur, the sources said.

Since the incident is a controversial issue in Manipur, we reproduce the full text of the article and incriminating photographs for the discerning readers to understand what it's all about.

InManipur, death comes easy.

In this damning sequence of photos, a local photographer captures the death of a young man, killed in a false encounter by the police in broad daylight, 500 metres from the state assembly.

How can a State justify such a war against its own people, asks TERESA REHMAN.

IF ANY picture can speak a thousand words, these photos � available exclusively to TEHELKA � could fill volumes.

They capture a shootout that happened in the heart of Imphal, Manipur's capital, barely 500 metres from the state assembly, on July 23.They show the moments before, during and after the 'encounter killing' of a 27-year-old Indian citizen � a young man called Chongkham Sanjit, shot dead by a heavily-armed detachment from Manipur's Rapid Action Police Force, commonly known as the Manipur Police Commandos (MPC).

There is a grotesque and brutal history to the bullets that killed this young man.

For years, decades even, security forces in Manipur have faced allegations of human rights violations and extrajudicial murders committed under cover of the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).

In 2000, Irom Sharmila, stirred by the gunning down of 10 civilians, including an 18-year-old National Child Bravery Award winner, by the Assam Rifles, started a hunger fast � that lasts to this day � in protest against the AFSPA.

In July 2004, the nation was rocked by the protests of a group of Manipuri women who marched to an Assam Rifles base in Imphal, stripped naked and raised a searing banner: "Indian Army Rape Us".

They were protesting the rape, torture and murder, a fortnight earlier, of Thangjam Manorama, 32, who was picked up from her home at night by the Assam Rifles.

Manipur rose up in protest that day, and in August 2004, the Centre relented, withdrawing the AFSPA from Imphal's municipal zone.

'Post-Manorama,' as history is marked in Manipur, the army has taken a backseat, withdrawing outside the municipality.

However, life in Manipur is still lived on the tightrope.

In a seemingly new counter-insurgency strategy, the MPC has unleashed a reign of terror in the state.

The organisation known as the Manipur Police Commandos (MPC) was first set up in 1979 as the Quick Striking Force (QSF).

Former Inspector General of Police, Thangjam Karunamaya Singh told TEHELKA, "They were trained for special operations.

But the men had strict instructions.

They were told to fire only when fired upon and pay special attention to the needs of women, children and the elderly.

If they arrested somebody on suspicion, they had to take responsibility for their security," stated Singh.

The MPC does not fall under the AFSPA but has now become notorious across the state.

It operates only in the four districts of Manipur � Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal and Bishnupur.

The MPC is housed in isolated commando barracks and has minimal contact with the general population, though its personnel are all locals.

Extra-judicial killings, and, in particular, fake encounters by the MPC have become common in Manipur.

In 2008, there were 27 recorded cases of torture and killing attributed to the MPC.

Where once they conducted 'encounters' in isolated places, they now do not think twice before operating in cities, in broad daylight, as they did on July 23 .

In several incidents, innocent civilians carrying money and valuables have been robbed and sometimes killed.

In some cases official action has been taken against commandos for misconduct.

For instance, in July 2009, five police commandos who had reportedly robbed three youths were suspended.

But for the most part, their extra-judicial activity goes scot free.

According to the official version of Sanjit's encounter death at 10:30am on July 23, a team of MPC personnel was conducting frisking operations in Imphal's Khwairamband Keithel (market).

They saw a suspicious youth coming from the direction of the Uripok locality.

When asked to stop, the version goes, the youth suddenly pulled out a gun and ran away, firing at the public in a bid to evade the police.

The official record states that the youth was finally cornered inside Maimu Pharmacy near Gambhir Singh Shopping Arcade.

He was asked to surrender.

Instead, he fired at the police.

The police retaliated and the youth was killed.

The account states that a 9mm Mauser pistol was "recovered".

The youth was identified from his driver's license as Chongkham Sanjit, son of Chongkham Khelson of Kongpal Sajor Leikai, Manipur.

Usually, such official versions of encounters are difficult to disprove though everyone may know them to be false.

But in an almost unprecedented coincidence, in Sanjit's case, a local photographer rushed to the scene and managed to shoot a minute-by-minute account of the alleged 'encounter'.

The photographs (shown on the right side of this page) clearly reveal that, contrary to the official version, Sanjit was, in fact, standing calmly as the police commandos frisked him and spoke to him.

He was escorted inside the storeroom of the pharmacy.

He was shot point blank inside and his dead body was brought out.

The photographer, fearing for his safety, does not dare publish these pictures in Manipur.

Eyewitness accounts partly corroborate the police version � except their account is obviously about a young man other than Sanjit.

These witnesses state that a youth did escape from a police frisking party about a hundred metres away from where Sanjit was killed.

The police chased this youth and opened fire, killing an innocent bystander, Rabina Devi � who was pregnant at the time � and injuring five other civilians.

Afterwards, the police showed the media a 9mm Mauser pistol which they alleged was thrown away by the militant before he fled.

After about half an hour, the police claimed to have killed the youth who escaped from their hands "in an encounter"; according to them, this youth was Sanjit.

The photographs clearly indicate otherwise.

The police claim Sanjit was a member of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), a proscribed insurgent outfit.

Chief Minster Okram Ibobi Singh also made a controversial statement in the assembly that day, asserting that there was no other alternative but to kill insurgents.

Sanjit was indeed a former PLA cadre.

He was arrested in 2000 but freed.

In 2006, he retired from the outfit on health grounds.

In 2007, though, he was detained again under the NSA and was only released a year later.

Since then, he had been staying with his family at his home at Khurai Kongpal Sajor Leikai and had been working as an attendant in a private hospital.

But even if Sanjit was a former militant, he should not have have been killed in a false encounter.

The photos show him talking to his killers, calmly, without offering any resistance.

He was frisked moments before the shootout.

He was not an insurgent on the run.

In fact, Sanjit had to make periodic appearances before the Court, a requirement that the Court later lifted.

"Legally speaking, Sanjit was a free man," says M Rakesh, a lawyer at the Gauhati High Court's Imphal Bench.

There are also significant inconsistencies in the police versions of the recovery of the weapon.

First, they said it was flung away by the fleeing militant.

Then they said it was recovered from Sanjit after the encounter.

As the photos show, Sanjit was ushered into the pharmacy, not chased in.

Also, if Sanjit was, in fact, armed with the 9mm Mauser, why wasn't it found during the frisking? Why, as the photos show, was he taken inside the storeroom? The law says if a death is caused by state forces in an encounter which cannot be justified by Section 46 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the officer causing the death would be guilty of culpable homicide.

In this case, only a rigorous investigation can establish what exactly transpired.

Instead of instituting a judicial enquiry, however, the state government is setting up a departmental enquiry, which is unlikely to yield any justice to the victims' families.

Sanjit's family claims he had broken his earlier links with the militants and was leading a normal life.

They say he had gone out that day to buy medicines for his uncle, who is undergoing treatment at Imphal's JN Hospital.

Says Sanjit's mother, Inaotombi Devi, "Life is very cheap in Manipur." Manipur is routinely roiled by such devastating narratives.

Ex-MLA 78-yearold Sarat Singh Loitongbam's son Satish Singh was killed by the armed forces.

Though a devout Hindu, he refuses to perform his son's last rites until his name is cleared of wrongdoing.

Like Satish, there is Ningombam Gopal Singh, a 39- year-old Grade-IV employee at the Imphal Bench of the Gauhati High Court, a man who was chatting over tea with women at a hotel when he was dragged off by men in plainclothes, to be shot dead in an 'encounter'.

There is 24-year-old Elangbam Johnson Singh, a student and part-time salesman, picked up by the MPC while out with a friend and killed in an encounter, his corpse at the morgue bearing signs of torture.

Stories like these are a grotesque lattice in Manipur.

"Life in Manipur," as one observer puts it, "is like a lottery.

You are alive because you are lucky." WRITER'S EMAIL [email protected]
Courtesy: Tehelka .

PAST INCIDENTS.

NOVEMBER, 2008: SALAM AJIT SINGH .

Singh, 30, was allegedly killed by the Imphal West Police Commandos and 39 Assam Rifles on November 7, 2008.Singh ran a taxi service.

In January 2009 his family filed a petition with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

DECEMBER, 2008: MD TASLIUMUDDIN .

Tasliumuddin, 20, a daily wage labourer, was allegedly killed in an 'encounter' by the Imphal West Police Commandos and 32 Assam Rifles on December 30, 2008.The NHRC has registered a case.

DECEMBER 2008: OKRAM RANJIT SINGH.

Singh, 27, a brick mason was allegedly killed in an 'encounter' by the Imphal West Police Commandos and 12 Maratha Light Infantry on December 22, 2008 in Imphal West district.

The family has filed a petition with the NHRC.

JANUARY 2009: LAISHRAM DIPSON.

Dipson, 28, was allegedly killed by the Imphal West Police Commandos and 39 Assam Rifles on January 12, 2009 at Laingam Khul.

The lorry driver's family has filed a police complaint.

JANUARY 2009: NINGTHOUJAM ANAND .

The 30-year-old auto rickshaw driver was allegedly killed by the Imphal West Police Commandos and 16 Assam Rifles on January 21, 2009.A complaint has been filed with the NHRC.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #32: Download
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • Riots to a shrine- Ram Mandir of Ayodhya
  • Handle with care. F.R.I.E.N.D.S inside!
  • The Power of Poppy - 31 :: Poem
  • Celebrate the journey !
  • Career counselling : A life guidance tool
  • Scientist of Manipur: Amom Ruhikanta
  • Conspiracy, thy name is Kuki !
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Thounaojam
  • Ket Meth New Album "Ghost Stories"
  • World Hypertension Day
  • International Day of Families
  • Let the rule of law prevail
  • When donation becomes obligatory demand
  • Tourism of Manipur through Gastronomy
  • Beyond Eternity :: Poem
  • Patriarch subjugation on women
  • Celebrate Manipuri Cinema shine at Cannes
  • Training on cultivation of various mushroom
  • Transformative impact of Ayurveda & Yoga
  • War for over a year : Delhi is answerable
  • The logic behind illogical chargesheet
  • Preserving Thang-Ta :: Rare Photos
  • Regarding Human Rights Situation in Manipur
  • World Hypertension Day 2024
  • Article 355 of Constitution of India #3
  • Disinformation campaign touba thengnarey
  • Deeply mourn the demise of Oja Biren Lamba
  • Water Mimosa for sustainable development
  • Publicity drives of educational institutions
  • ED's revolutionary move!!!
  • Malemnganbi Laishram : Science Topper
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #2: Gallery
  • Thokchom Sheityajit : Arts Topper
  • Aiena Naorem : Commerce Topper
  • AISSE 2024 Exam Result- RKM Imphal
  • Gold, new world currency !
  • Milk for hair and skin
  • Of illegal immigrants & the larger picture
  • The missive from Kamjong
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Science Topper
  • HSE 2024 : Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : District Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : Candidates with Highest Marks
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Science Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Arts Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Commerce Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Arts Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Commerce Topper
  • Sezo Ringa- Debut Music Video "Revival"
  • Journalism - A thrilling career #2
  • After Class XII where? The eternal question
  • Entry of Arvind Kejriwal
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #1
  • Our nurses, our future: Power of care
  • Screenplay Writing course concluded
  • Workshop on IP & Patent Filing held
  • Let there be less Politics in Sports
  • Sam Pitroda is absolutely white
  • Motherhood: Soul & spirit of family & society
  • Time has come to criminalise ecocide
  • Meiteis, a disappearing community in Manipur
  • World Bamboo Congress @Taiwan : Gallery
  • Ima Manipur should smile more
  • 2nd National Lok Adalat at High Court
  • The Power of Poppy - 30 :: Poem
  • Army impact on Tamphasana Wushu odyssey
  • Aftermath of ferocious hailstorm #1 : Gallery
  • "Dynamic library service" :: Book Rvw
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Artificial Intelligence & Environment
  • Article 355 of Constitution of India #2
  • Integrated Farming Systems for farmers #4
  • Delhi's stand after 1 year of clash
  • A new type of terrorism
  • Scientist of Manipur: Waikhom Vishwanath
  • SRF, JRF, RA @ Assam University
  • The Bleeding River :: Poem
  • Executive Meeting of WMC Assam Unit
  • Journalism - A thrilling career #1
  • Raising the call to replace Minister
  • A storm in a political teacup
  • Cheirao-chingkaba @ Chinga : Gallery
  • Happy Mother's Day
  • Empowering hill communities via U-Mangra
  • African Swine Fever
  • Free Training on Mushroom at Nagamapal
  • Harshit Dhingaun recieves award from Korea
  • Look for ways to restore normalcy
  • The danger of last kicks of a dying horse
  • Preserving Thang-Ta traditions
  • Resolving ST issue by democratic process
  • Top 5 songs to awaken your inner patriot
  • Project Assistant @ Manipur University
  • Leishemba Sanajaoba conferred Doctorate
  • Double tragedy: No time for red-tapism
  • A Youtuber called Dhruv
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing : Full Book
  • 174th Anniv Maharaj Narasingh #2 : Gallery
  • Challenges in Healthcare in rural Manipur
  • A salute to leadership quality of PM Modi
  • Career in press for freedom of expression
  • One day after devastating hailstorm
  • Understanding the suffering of others
  • A ferocious hailstorm @Imphal : Gallery
  • Article 355 of Constitution of India #1
  • Integrated Farming Systems for farmers #3
  • Election gossip & rumours
  • 'Melodic Minds' Tour in Guwahati
  • Leaving a trail of destruction
  • Political see-saw
  • A brand-new Scientific discovery
  • In memoriam of the happiness we shared !
  • Crop/animal for higher productivity in NE #5
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Sekmaijin
  • Oh Motherland :: Poem
  • Animal life should be treated with dignity
  • '365 Days of Chin-Kuki Aggression' : Gallery
  • Renaissance of politics in our youth
  • TB & tobacco co-epidemics in Indonesia
  • The Power of Poppy - 29 :: Poem
  • Advanced Charging Infrastructure in NE
  • Lessons learnt in the last one year
  • True colour of politics
  • World Heritage Day @ MU : Gallery
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Kakwa
  • Joint Combing Operations in Jiribam
  • Reboot PSUs for jobs: Task for new Govt
  • Ayurvedic remedies to keep healthy eyes
  • May 3, 2023 to May 3, 2024
  • One year of crisis, and what next ?
  • Scientist of Manipur: Nongmaithem Rajmuhon
  • Whither social justice & work for women?
  • Taiwan to enhancing economic ties with India
  • Integrated Farming Systems for farmers #2
  • Athoubasingi Numit #2 : Gallery
  • Privilege trap of While Male Meitei
  • Crop/animal for higher productivity in NE #4
  • 'Chizami Model' working in Gujarat ?
  • Racing towards the one year mark
  • On misattribution & falsifying history
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #15 :: Book
  • May Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • 12th World Bamboo Congress at Taiwan
  • Complex dance of democracy in Manipur
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Pangaltabi
  • Integrated Farming Systems for farmers #1
  • Showing ugly face of muscle power
  • Spare the rod, spoil the monster
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #31: Download
  • Socio-Historical analysis on Ethnic Conflict
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Langmeidong
  • Ngangbam Dipapati- Gold @European Cup
  • Crop/animal for higher productivity in NE #3
  • Fresh surge in violence
  • The real culprit
  • National Science Teacher workshop
  • Livelihood Disaster in Mapithel Region
  • Condemns Killing of CRPF Personnel
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Manipur College
  • Huidrom Oliviya: Silver @Cadet European Cup
  • Election: Runner-up may spoil the joy
  • Scientists of Manipur : Laishram Ladu Singh
  • Imphal Ring Road Project to Transform
  • Crop/animal for higher productivity in NE #2
  • The Power of Poppy - 28 :: Poem
  • Condemned unabated illegal taxation
  • Watermelon : Super nutritious summer fruit
  • People have spoken, Manipur has voted
  • Skirting around core issues
  • Lok Sabha polls in Manipur #2 : Gallery
  • The Taj Mahal that bans Lovers !
  • Importance of bees !
  • Massive hailstorm in Jiribam
  • The messiah of hapless children
  • Attack on fuel tankers & blasting bridge
  • Blame it on Meetei
  • The Happiness Code : Download
  • NH-2 Bridge bombed @Sapermeina : Gallery
  • Crop/animal for higher productivity in NE #1
  • Training Programme under SPARK concluded
  • Why environment control is so difficult
  • 4th Foundation Day- Young Minds Collective
  • All set for second phase poll
  • The Nongsaba phenomenon
  • Khongjom Day @Khebaching #1 : Gallery
  • India's responsibility to end Manipur violence
  • Migrant worker could access TB services only
  • Importance of reading magazines as student
  • SHG pioneering agricultural innovation
  • Nearing the one year mark
  • The enemy within
  • Id-ul-Fitr @Hatta #2 : Gallery
  • Workshop @ NSU Manipur : Gallery
  • 15th Manipur State Film Awards 2023
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Panthoibi Shanglen
  • GSDP doubles, health shines
  • Vote has been cast, repoll held
  • Two faces of democracy
  • Laurels for Scientist Ngangkham Nimai
  • Crime against women in Manipur
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Sugnu
  • Creativity & innovation for vibrant career
  • 4th Foundation Day of YMC
  • Racing towards one year mark
  • Prophetic words, indeed
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #14 :: Book
  • 174th Anniv Maharaj Narasingh #1 : Gallery
  • Ensuring Fair Voting in Hills of Manipur
  • Dr Irengbam Mohendra's latest book :: Rvw
  • NDA has the advantage in both
  • Lok Sabha polls in Manipur #1 : Gallery
  • L Rup's Robot 'Kangleinganbi' in Manipuri
  • Art- means of connecting hearts in Manipur
  • Is it Living Alive or Living Death ? :: Poem
  • Rabies - A preventable zoonotic disease
  • April 19, 2024: The blackest day of all
  • Ugly turns on voting day
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • The chasm between TB & HIV continues
  • Parliament and its Members
  • Kimchi for health and glowing skin
  • LS election with a difference
  • To vote, or not to vote ?
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #2 : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Laitonjam Warjeet
  • Community seed bank @Umathel : Gallery
  • Saving Manipur
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba: 1 occasion, 2 narratives #2
  • Athoubasingi Numit #1 : Gallery
  • Id-ul-Fitr @Hatta #1 : Gallery
  • 80th Anniv- Battle of Kanglatongbi @UK
  • Hun - Thadou Cultural Festival : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #1 : Gallery
  • Beating of the Retreat #1 : Gallery
  • Kenedy Khuman (Singer) : Gallery
  • Students @ Class X Exam : Gallery
  • Save Manipur : Protest [Feb 15] #3 : Gallery
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD