TODAY -

Evidence Absolute - Punishment of the killer Commandos mustn't be delayed
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: August 03, 2009 -



Call it media trial or whatever. But now there can't be any better proof than the photographs published in the Tehelka weekly and reproduced in the Imphal-based newspapers and broadcast by ISTV. We need not further elaborate on what the photographs show, readers and people of Manipur have either seen or heard of them.

Even though the case has not yet gone to court and final verdict is to be given by the court, we are absolutely sure that there is not an iota of doubt that Chungkham Sanjit was murdered in cold blood by a group of Manipur Police Commandos by shooting him at point blank range inside a pharmacy at BT Road.

The photographs taken second by second sequences by an unknown local photographer absolutely clearly prove that the incident of July 23 that happened inside the pharmacy was not an encounter at all, but an incident of killing of an unarmed and innocent civilian.

The lies that had been cooked up by the police about the incident being an encounter are exposed now. The Manipur Police and the Central Security Forces have been repeatedly lying about encounter deaths most of the times.

More than a thousand youths– suspected insurgents, former insurgents but quit the organization concerned and living normal life, surrenderees, etc. had thus been killed in fake encounters. Though people knew that they were killed in fake encounters after arrest and severe torture, nobody could produce any concrete proof.

The dead and their surviving families were always the only losers. But this time, as truth cannot be suppressed all the time, the Manipur Police Commandos, whose notoriety for fake encounter killings is legendary, were caught red- handed. Those personnel who were directly involved in the killing of Sanjit will not be able to evade the clamps of law easily this time.

Police have earlier said that Sanjit tried to escape from a frisking commando party and was cornered at Maimu Pharmacy at BT Road and killed in a shootout. Now the damning photographs show otherwise.

But police might still give another story like they wanted to interrogate him further inside the pharmacy as there were many people outside, so they took him inside the pharmacy but he tried to snatch a weapon from one of the commandos and he was shot at in order to prevent him from grabbing the gun, etc.

But any further attempt of ruse may not be able to mislead the court and the people. At the same time, questions will still be asked, why did the police commandos kill Sanjit, who was formerly a cadre of the proscribed RPF/PLA but had retired two years back and was leading a normal life?

What was the necessary for having to kill him? No weapon was found on his person when the commandos frisked his body, as the photographs show.

However, it is believed that the commandos killed him to cover up their mistake of firing that killed a young pregnant woman and injured five other persons a few minutes earlier while chasing another youth.

The commandos failed to arrest the escaping youth and found another harmless person, Sanjit and made him the escapegoat. They probably thought that by killing Sanjit, the death of the young woman, who was with her two and half years old son at that time, could be justified.

This is an unpardonable act of committing a grievous crime of killing a human being to justify the killing of an innocent woman. This calls for the severest punishment permitted by the law of the land to those killers.

The government must immediately sack those commandos directly involved in the crime of killing two innocent, harmless and unharmed civilians from their present employment and throw them inside the jail. No small inquiry is needed now. Criminal case must be taken up against them straight.

Meanwhile, the local photographer who shot the damning photographs may be given a word or two of praise for his timely and skillful job of shooting the incident from moment to moment sequence.

In normal circumstances, he/she would have deserved the best prize that Manipur can give, but his/her lack of courage to publish/broadcast them here on that day itself makes one have reservations about it.





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