High court orders probe into assault of civilians by troops

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Imphal, Dec 18 (UNI) The Imphal Bench of Guwahati High Court has directed the Director General of Police, Manipur, to inquire into the case where civilians were injured by troops here.

Justices T Nandakumar Singh and K Meruno directed the DGP, Manipur, or his nominee not below the rank of Inspector General of Police, to inquire into the facts and circumstances leading to injuries inflicted upon villagers of Umathel, Bishenpur district and its adjoining area by 21 Assam Rifles and submit its report within a month.

On a PIL petition filed by a number of organisations, the HC also directed that the 21 Assam Rifles authority should cooperate with the investigating team.

A PIL was jointly filed by Human Rights Alert (HRA), Threaten Indigenous People's Society(TIPS) and Centre for Organisation Research and Education(CORE), contending that an encounter had ensued between militants and personnel of 21 Assam Rifles on September 30, resulting in the death of a jawan.

Later additional forces of the 21 Assam Rifles rushed to the spot and conducted search operations in the area and people of Umathel village and its adjoining villages were called out of their houses and beaten up by the Assam Rifles personnel.

About 52 men had reportedly sustained injuries. Fearing a possible presence of AR jawans in the area again, many of them had left their homes to take shelter in their relatives homes and neighbouring villages.

The Human Rights Law network coordinator M Rakesh said the Assam Rifles personnel's actions itself amounts to violation of the human rights act.

UNI

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