Army officer booked by CBI in Manipur extra-judicial killing case

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NEW DELHI, August 2: An Army officer has been booked by the CBI in a case related to the alleged Manipur extrajudicial killings which are being probed by the agency on the orders of the Supreme Court.
This is the first such case in 29 FIRs registered by the CBI Major Vijay Singh Balhara, then attached with Assam Rifles, along with seven other uniformed personnel has been named as accused in the case pertaining to the killing of a 12-year-old boy.
The case has been registered under IPC sections related to murder.
This was termed a case of fake encounter by a Supreme Court-appointed commission led by retired apex court judge Santosh Hegde.
According to the family, the boy was killed on March 4, 2009, the commission had noted.
A student of class VII in Phoubakchao High School with no criminal antecedents, he was allegedly picked up from his home before being killed, it said.
An FIR was registered nearly two months before the alleged encounter under sections of attempt to murder, arms act and other stringent charges.
“According to the security forces’ evidence, the deceased was suspected to be a member of the Peoples United Liberation Front (PULF),” it said, adding that PULF was not a banned organisation, according to Manipur government.
The boy’s family had said that he and his friend, who was a neighbour and studied in the same school, was reading newspaper in the verandah of his home where his parents and relatives were present.
At 11.50 am, about 30 security personnel came to the house and dragged the boy to a nearby field where he was severely beaten up amid protests from parents, the Commission said in its report.
Parents, relatives and friends of the boy were locked in a room by the security forces but they could see through the window that after being beaten up, he was shot by one of the commandos and a pistol was thrown near the body, it said.
The version of family members was supported by relatives, it said.
The police had claimed that it got input of terrorists’ movement in the boy’s village to extort money from people.
When they reached they found two persons running through bamboo groves firing at them. An encounter ensued for five minutes after which body of the boy was found and a 9 mm Smith and Wesson pistol was recovered, it said.
After hearing the deposition of Major Balhara, who led the operation, the commission noted that there was “serious contradiction” in his statement with that of other witnesses.
The commission noted that forces knew exactly where deceased was as they directly went to his home. (PTI)