The Manipur government rapped by The Supreme Court for not filing a report on alleged extra-judicial killings in the state, saying “people are dying out there”.
A bench headed by justice Aftab Alam directed the government to file its response within two weeks and also asked the attorney general to assist the court in deciding the case.
When the counsel appearing for the state sought six weeks’ time to file the response, The bench said, “Do it quickly. People are dying out there. File your report by November 19,”
The apex court had on October 1 expressed concern over the spate of alleged extra-judicial killings in the state and issued notices to the Centre and the state government on a plea for an independent probe into around 1,500 such cases.
The court’s order came on a public interest litigation (PIL) initiated by an association of the families of the alleged victims, pleading with the apex court to set up a special investigation team and direct inquiry into all such cases.
The association said over 2,000 extra-judicial killings have taken place in the state, but no one has been held guilty till date.
The petitioner said innocent people with no criminal record had been killed by the security forces and no proper investigation had been carried out in such cases.
“Not only were there no criminal investigations and prosecutions of the guilty, even departmental inquiries were not conducted and no policemen or personnel of the security forces punished departmentally for their actions.
According to the petition, “The magisterial inquiries that took place sometimes were conducted by executive magistrates under cover of secrecy and most often without intimation to the eyewitnesses and members of the families. They were conducted as an eyewash”
The Supreme Court had on July 4 agreed to hear a similar plea for a probe into alleged extra-judicial killings by the Border Security force in the West Bengal border area.
In that case, petitioner Bangla Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha, a Kolkata-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), had alleged that there were more than 200 cases in which BSF personnel had indulged in extra-judicial killings and torture in the border area and the cases were never probed by the state police.
The NGO had alleged that instead of registering FIRs (first information reports) against BSF personnel, they were registered against the dead and the cases closed.