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Posts Tagged ‘Murder in plain sight’

Manipur: Murder in plain sight

Posted by Admin on August 5, 2009


Imphal, Sunday, 2 August 2009:

1. Chongkham Sanjit, 27, is seen standing in a PCO with the  Manipur Police Commandos adjacent to a pharmacy (marked by an arrow) in Imphal on July 23 2. Though surrounded by commandos, there is no obvious resistance from Sanjit
(marked by a red circle))
3. Sanjit is seen calmly
walking away with the heavily armed commandos
4. While a commando reaches for his pistol, Sanjit remains visibly calm. They are standing barely 500 metres from the state assembly 5. Sanjit, known to be a former member of the People’s Liberation Army, had retired on health grounds. Though surrounded, he is calm and there seems to be no urgency or imminent violence in the picture
6. In a sudden turn of events, Sanjit is hustled away roughly
by the commandos
7. Sanjit is dragged by the commandos into the pharmacy. He has been surrounded by commandos for several minutes and is obviously unarmed
8. A few minutes later, commandos drag Sanjit’s
dead body out of the pharmacy
9. Sanjit’s body is thrown into a truck. At no point while the camera was clicking had he offered any resistance to the commandos
10. Sanjit’s dead body on the truck. The camera continues to click. The commandos make no attempt to stop the public gaze
11. The body of Rabina Devi, a pregnant bystander. She was killed a few metres away in the police firing when they chased a fleeing youth 12. Sanjit’s body on a stretcher.His family claims he had broken his earlier links with the militants and was leading a normal life

In Manipur, death comes easy. In this damning sequence of photos, a local photographer captures the death of a young man, killed in a false encounter by the police in broad daylight, 500 metres from the state assembly. How can a State justify such a war against its own people, asks TERESA REHMANIF ANY picture can speak a thousand words, these photos — available exclusively to TEHELKA — could fill volumes. They capture a shootout that happened in the heart of Imphal, Manipur’s capital, barely 500 metres from the state assembly, on July 23. They show the moments before, during and after the ‘encounter killing’ of a 27-year-old Indian citizen – a young man called Chongkham Sanjit, shot dead by a heavily-armed detachment from Manipur’s Rapid Action Police Force, commonly known as the Manipur Police Commandos (MPC).

There is a grotesque and brutal history to the bullets that killed this young man. For years, decades even, security forces in Manipur have faced allegations of human rights violations and extrajudicial murders committed under cover of the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). In 2000, Irom Sharmila, stirred by the gunning down of 10 civilians, including an 18-year-old National Child Bravery Award winner, by the Assam Rifles, started a hunger fast — that lasts to this day — in protest against the AFSPA. In July 2004, the nation was rocked by the protests of a group of Manipuri women who marched to an Assam Rifles base in Imphal, stripped naked and raised a searing banner: “Indian Army Rape Us”. They were protesting the rape, torture and murder, a fortnight earlier, of Thangjam Manorama, 32, who was picked up from her home at night by the Assam Rifles. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Manipur | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

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