A Supreme Court-appointed high-power commission, headed by the retired SC judge Santosh Hegde, probing six cases of alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur, has found in their report that these were not genuine encounters and the victims did not have any criminal records. The report makes it clear that the guidelines on encounters laid down by the SC in the Naga People’s Movement case was not followed.
Manipur State government had argued that it is the duty of NHRC (National Human Rights Council) to probe such issues and SC can come only after that but apex court cited the provisions of Article 21 coupled with 32 which provides the right to life and personal liberty and violation of this right, according to SC, mandates it to intervene and find out the truth.
The commission includes the former Chief Election Commissioner, J.M. Lyngdoh, and the former DGP, Karnataka, Ajay Kumar Singh, besides Mr Hegde and was appointed in Jan 2013 to hold the enquiry into alleged fake encounter killings in Manipur after a PIL was filed by families. The commission was also mandated to address the larger question of the role of the State police and the security forces and make a report on their functioning and make recommendations for keeping the police and security forces within the legal limits without compromising on the fight against insurgency, If it was found that they violated legal bounds.