'We'll never get justice from state. If we get it from Supreme Court...'
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The inquiry, conducted by the executive magistrate of Imphal East, "could not conclude whether the killings were extrajudicial".
At home, Kiranjit's mother fondly preserves a file with all his certificates ó an application with the Manipur employment exchange, a driving licence for heavy goods vehicles, a piece of white cloth with the marathon number 969 printed in red. He had appeared for his class X examination from the National Open School in Delhi but all he was interested in was sports and fitness. He was training for a marathon in Goa, had ranked 15th in the Manipur Mega Marathon in 2009, and had participated in state-level karate events.
"Every morning he would get up and go for a run. Then he'd help the family at work and go to the gym," says his mother, Esheihanbi Elangbam, 48. "He had applied to the Army and the BSF, passed the written and physical examinations but was rejected in the medical examination because of a problem in his right leg. He told me he would keep trying till he got through."
Azad Khan I 12,14 or16--'How can a boy be a terrorist?'
The boy was allegedly picked up and killed on March 4, 2009. His age is a subject of dispute: one case filed by his family in the Gauhati High Court's Imphal bench says he was 12, its petition in the Supreme Court says he was 14; the government says he was 16.
He hailed from Phoubakchao Makha Leikai in Imphal West. His family says Azad, a student of class VII, was reading a newspaper with a friend in the courtyard when commandos entered and asked him for identity papers. "His mother and other women tried intervening but they were dragged and locked inside a shed while Azad was dragged to a paddy field. He was directed by the commandos to run and when he refused, one of them shot him. They then took the body away," says Azad's uncle Dr Bashir Ali.