Manipur policeman found guilty in fake encounter got medal on Republic Day

Republic day

A Manipuri policeman implicated in a fake encounter in Imphal was among nine police personnel from the state awarded the President's police medal for gallantry on the occasion of Republic Day last month.

The havildar rank policeman, N Nungshibabu Singh, and three others were found guilty by a judicial inquiry in 2010. But they are yet to be punished.

Two cousins, Mutum Rajen Singh and Mutum Herojit Singh, were killed in the alleged encounter in October 2008. Rajen ran a 'rice hotel' in Imphal West district with the help of his wife Ibecha Devi, and the couple had a four-year-old son.

According to Ibecha Devi's testimony in court, in the afternoon of October 14, 2008, Herojit took Rajen with him on his scooter to supervise the editing of a video of his son's Nahutpa (ritual performance of wearing earrings) ceremony at a studio in Chingmeirong colony. They are said to have stayed at the studio until 5 pm.

Later that night, Devi was told by relatives that a local TV news channel was reporting that her husband and his cousin had been killed in Lambui Lambi in Imphal East district by a team of Manipuri commandos. Attempts by Herojit's father to file a police complaint the next day were unsuccessful, and his letter to the DGP also did not elicit an immediate response.

Authorities said that according to a report filed by sub-inspector of the Manipur commandos, P Achouba Meitei, about half a dozen unidentified armed youth opened fire at the commandos while they were patrolling along the Lambui Lambi road. The youths allegedly escaped on their two-wheelers. The commandos pursued them and retaliated, leading to a gunfight.

Two men riding a scooter were shot dead, while the others fled under the cover of darkness. In the inquiry report, the state government said that Meitei and rifleman Nungshibabu shot one of the men, two other commandos pursued the other man who was fleeing and shot him down as well.

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