Manipur police commando pleads for fresh probe into killings

Imphal, March 21 (IANS) Thounaojam Herojit, a former Manipur Police commando accused of killing two people in a staged gunbattle, on Monday appeared in court and pleaded for a fresh investigation.

Then head constable Herojit is accused of killing two people — housewife Thokchom Rabina and unarmed former insurgent Chungkham Sanjit — on July 23, 2009 in Imphal city. Herojit had earlier confessed that he shot dead Sanjit on the orders of then additional police superintendent Akoijam Jhalajit.

Appearing in the court of the chief judicial magistrate in Imphal East, he said: “The court should order an inquiry into my role and that of the superior officer as well. I do not want any investigation into the case itself but only our roles.”

His counsel also pleaded for admission of his affidavit.

“The court should conduct further investigation into my role in the killings of Thokchom Rabina and Chungkham Sanjit on July 23, 2009,” Herojit said.

He said he and the superior officer, who allegedly gave him orders to shoot the unarmed and overpowered former insurgent, should be subjected to further investigation.

However, the counsel for the Central Bureau of Investigation strongly objected saying that since the matter was now pending in the high court, such an investigation will amount to prejudice.

Herojit was directed to appear before the court again on March 29.

On the fateful day of July 23, 2009, a bullet killed Rabina while she was walking on the street with her minor son. The police version is that Sanjit killed her and that in the follow-up police action, he got killed.

However, media reports said an obviously unarmed and unsuspecting Sanjit was accosted, pushed inside a pharmacy and later his body was dragged out.

On January 25 this year, Herojit told the media that he was ordered by a superior officer to kill Sanjit who was overpowered inside the pharmacy.

Meanwhile, Apunba Lup, the apex body of over 30 civil organisations in Manipur, also demanded a re-investigation into the killings of Rabina and Sanjit.

Sanjit’s mother Taratombi has petitioned the court to order a fresh investigation into the incident in the light of the head constable’s confession.

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