The Supreme Court on Friday indicated that it will appoint a commission headed by the former Supreme Court judge, Santosh Hegde; the former CEC, J.M. Lyngdoh; and a senior police officer to probe the fake encounter killings in Manipur.

A Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai said it would pass a formal order to this effect on Monday after getting consent from Justice Hegde and Mr. Lyngdoh. It was hearing a petition by Manipur-based Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families Association that sought a special investigation team probe into the extra-judicial killings by the Army and other security forces.

The Bench said the Commission would initially probe six cases where the magisterial inquiry had raised questions on the genuineness of encounter and security forces had “unlawfully” killed people, including a 12-year-old boy. The Bench was upset at the stand of the Manipur government when it questioned the motives of the petitioner. The Bench observed, “Nationalism is not a monopoly of the State. Simply because you represent the State, you don’t have the authority to impute motives on others.”

Questioning as to why petitioner families should establish their credentials as nationalists, the Bench said, “These are the allegations that drive people to anti-national activities.” Justice Desai told Ranjit Kumar, “You talk about insurgency but don’t point fingers at them.”

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