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Wuzu killings: HC grants petitioners 3 weeks to file affidavit

Gauhati High Corut Kohima Bench

DIMAPUR, JUNE 25: The Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court on Tuesday gave three weeks’ time for the petitioners to file an affidavit in response to the counter affidavit submitted by the Union Government and Assam Rifles (AR) in connection with the petition seeking, among other reliefs, sanction to prosecute erring AR officials involved in the Wuzu firing incident that had resulted in the killing of two children in 2015.
“Ms. LB Jungio, learned Counsel for the petitioners, is allowed 3 (three) weeks’ time to file reply affidavit to the affidavit-in-opposition filed by the respondents. List it accordingly”, stated an order issued by Justice Kakheto Sema.
As reported previously in Nagaland Page, the writ petition was filed by Tsufuchu and Vitsurho @ Esther Jorram, both residents of Wuzu Village, and Meghato, a resident of Phor Village.
“By filing this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioners pray for issuance of the following directions: (i) To accord prosecution sanction to the erring office of the Wuzu firing incident involving the unjustified killing of two innocent children, Aso and Tuzali and injuring petitioner No. 3 (Vitsurho) in order to proceed with the investigation and trial of the case in accordance with law.
“(ii) To pay adequate compensation of Rs 50,00,000 each in favour of the petitioner Nos. 1 & 2 for unjustified death of two deceased persons and to respondent No. 3 for permanent injury inflicted upon her”, stated a previous Court order.
Besides, the Union of India, the respondents named in the petition were Union Secretary of Defence; State of Nagaland represented by the Chief Secretary; DGP Nagaland; GOC-in-Chief Eastern Command, Kolkata; IGAR (North), Kohima; SP Phek; and Commanding Officer of 46 Assam Rifles C Coy at Akhego in Kiphire.
In July 2015, Nagaland Government had ordered a magisterial inquiry into the firing incident near Wuzu and Phor villages in Phek district that killed two schoolchildren and injured a woman on July 15.
Back then, an official release stated that Assam Rifles personnel had gone to Avungkhu on the Indo-Myanmar border following reports of forcible recruitment of children by the NSCN (K) and were returning with the bodies of two NSCN (K) members killed in an encounter when they were stopped by the villagers.
Reportedly, the villagers had demanded that the bodies be handed over to them and the ensuing situation resulted in firing, causing the death of two students ~ Thezali of Phor and Aso of Wuzu ~ and injury to a woman, Esther of Wuzu.
The Assam Rifles also filed a petition in the Kohima Bench seeking the stay of an order issued on April 9, 2021, by the District & Sessions Judge of Phek.
“The case in brief is that consequent to a firing incident allegedly by 46th AR ‘C’ Coy under Major Surinder Singh at Wuzu Village where two persons were killed and another injured, the Village authority filed the FIR dated July 16, 2015 in the Meluri Police Station and consequent to which the Meluri PS Case No. 06/2015 under Section 302/307/338/166/34 IPC was registered against one Major Surinder Singh.
“The charge-sheet in the case was submitted by the Police and the learned Trial Court took cognisance of the case and by the order dated July 20, 2022 summoned the alleged accused Major Surinder Singh to appear before the Court on August 13, 2020”, stated another order issued by the Court.
However, against the summon order, the Assam Rifles filed an application before the District & Sessions Judge, Phek, seeking for discharging Major Surinder Singh from the case “on the ground that before filing of the charge-sheet, prior sanction of the Central Government as required under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 and the provisions under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 which are mandatory, have not been sought for from the competent authority, i.e. Central Government”.
On April 9, 2021, the District & Sessions Judge of Phek passed an order dismissing the discharge application of the Assam Rifles.
(Page News Service)