The Supreme Court has finally agreed to appoint a commission to inquire into encounter killings in Manipur. The commission comprising former apex court judge Santosh Hegde, former CEC J M Lyngdoh and a police officer will inquire into the five encounter killings, ruled the apex court.
Earlier, on November 5, the apex court rapped the Manipur government 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 Manipur to file its response within two weeks and also asked the attorney general to assist the court in deciding the case. "Do it quickly. People are dying out there. File your report by November 19," the bench said when the counsel appearing for the state sought six weeks' time to file the response.
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. 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.