Charge hearing of cops accused in fake encounter case begins

IMPHAL, 25th Oct: Charge hearing of four Manipur police personnel, who are accused of involvement in an alleged fake encounter that occurred on December 20, 2011 at Naran Konjin Pukhri Achouba area, commenced Thursday in the court of Special Judge, CBI, Imphal West. On Wednesday, the court took cognizance of the case and registered the same for session trial.

The case was transferred from the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of CBI, Imphal submitted charge sheet against the police quartet on August 30. The four accused police personnel are identified as sub-Inspector Ksh Uttam Kumar, head-constables Kh Sushil Kumar and Laishram Dinachandra Singh, and rifleman Yumnam Santosh Singh. They are facing charges under section 34 IPC r/w 302, 201 IPC.

The SIT charge sheet mentioned that the case was registered as per the directive of the Supreme Court dated July 14 to probe into the killing of one Laishram Ranbir Singh alias Eishen, son of late L Ibobi Singh of Uchiwa Awang Leikai. 

According to police version, two persons started firing from automatic weapons towards a police commando team which was conducting frisking at Naran Konjin Pukhri Achouba area. Ranbir, a cadre of a UG group according to police, was shot dead during the exchange of fire that lasted around 5-6 minutes and the team recovered one small fire arm and a moped, it added.

However, the SIT charge sheet contradicted the police version as it contended that “during the investigation no evidence could be collected or confirmed to establish criminal background or association of Ranbir with any of the underground insurgent groups.” “Killing of Ranbir by the said commando team seems have common intention to eliminate the deceased, whereas, there was enough opportunity for the commando team to immobilise him. The killing was a cold blooded murder and not an encounter,” added the charge sheet.

During the hearing, the accused persons prayed for providing more time (days) to produce their defence witnesses. The court fixed November 11 for the next hearing. 

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