Manipur rights activists seek probe into ‘killing’ of villager

Post commander of 44 Assam Rifles Major Alok Sathe, who is allegedly involved in the incident on June 4, has been taken for questioning.

Human Rights activists in Manipur have demanded a proper investigation into the “extrajudicial killing” of an innocent villager, Mangboilal Lhuvum, 29, in the Kangpokpi district on June 4 night allegedly by Major Alok Sathe, post commander of 44 Assam Rifles.

A joint statement issued by Renu Takhellambam, president of Extrajudicial Execution Victim Families Association, and Babloo Loitongbam, executive director of Human Rights Alert, said that a “proper investigation should be held and the guilty ones punished”.

Some local newspapers, based on an official release, had published reports to the effect that the deceased was the secretary of the Kuki Revolutionary Army. However, the outfit, which had come overground after the signing the Suspension of Operations, has clarified that he was never associated with it.

Soon after the incident, people of the victim’s village resorted to vandalism inside the camp and burned two vehicles and two AK 47 rifles. On June 5 morning, people tried to wrest Major Sathe from the police who were taking him away for questioning.

₹10 lakh solatium

Eventually, normality was restored after the signing of an agreement which said, among other things, that ₹10 lakh would be given as solatium to the victim’s family.

The joint statement of the two human rights activists said that so far the Union government had not given sanction to prosecute the accused security personnel. In the case of the police, such a sanction had been given.

Ms. Takhellambam is demanding justice for 1,528 persons who had been killed in “staged encounters”. Mr. Loitongbam said that “heinous crimes” had been committed under the provisions of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958. “Despite investigation by the CBI/SIT, there are reports of involvement of some security personnel in some crimes,” he said.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West, had written a letter on February 22, 2021 to the High Court of Manipur to clarify the legal position.

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