Eight Manipur policemen accused of staged killings produced in court

Imphal, Feb 2 (IANS) Eight policemen accused of involvement in the killing of an unarmed former insurgent and a young housewife allegedly in a staged gunfight were presented in a court here on Tuesday.

The court was hearing a case following the confession of head constable Thounaojam Heroijit on January 25 that he shot dead unarmed Chungkham Sanjit on the orders of then additional police superintendent Akoijam Jhalajit on July 23, 2009.

The Imphal West District and Sessions Court Judge M. Binoy, however, postponed the hearing till February 20.

All eight policemen accused of involvement in the killings were produced in the jampacked court room. However, the main accused, Heroijit, failed to appear in court.

The incident — which police claimed was a shootout — also caused the death of young housewife Thokchom Rabina, who was wounded while going with her three-year-old son to meet her husband.

The police version is that Sanjit killed her and that in the follow-up police action, he got killed.

Meanwhile, the CBI argued that the court should not take into cognizance the confessional statement of Heroijit implicating the chief minister, the then director general of police Yumnam Joykumar and the police superintendent.

It contended that Heroijit was merely talking to some reporters, and he should either depose before the court or file an affidavit if the court has to act on his confessional statement.

The judge heard the counsel for the defendants and adjourned the hearing till February 20.

Heroijit had earlier told reporters that he does not need armed protection, as offered by Home Minister Gaikhangam, since he was prepared to accept any punishment from the people and the court of law.

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