Assam Rifles shot dead youth in March 2004

Woman alleges son was whisked awayBruise marks on bodyFleeing victim opened fire: Assam Rifles

IMPHAL: The Manipur Bench of the Gauhati High Court has ordered a judicial inquiry into the March 4, 2004 killing of Khundraakapam Tejkumar (22) by Assam Rifles.

The Manipur East additional district judge will head the commission and its report should be submitted within six months, a Division Bench comprising Justices R.B. Misra and T. Nandakumar, said on Thursday.

The ruling came on a writ petition by Khundrakpam Bilasni, who said personnel of 19 Assam Rifles picked up and whisked away her son, Tejkumar, without issuing an arrest memo a violation of a Supreme Court ruling. Later his body was handed over to the police with a report that he was a member of the proscribed People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak.

According to Assam Rifles, Tejkumar agreed to take its team to some places where weapons were stashed away. At one place he dug out a gunny bag containing weapons. He took out a gun from the bag and after opening fire at the personnel tried to escape. Tejkumar was killed when they opened fire to prevent him from escaping. However, Ms. Bilasni, quoting the post-mortem report, said there were bruise marks all over the body and the neckbone was fractured. In view of the controversy over the incident, agitations were launched.

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi announced that the case would be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation. But it was not done, official sources said.

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, under which the security forces are operating in Manipur, exempts all personnel from any inquiry instituted without obtaining the Centre's approval. In the past, many judicial commissions were wounded up midway. Some commissions recommended prosecution of the guilty.

However no action has been taken as the government is of the view that doing so will demoralise the security forces.