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2009 Imphal encounter: Herojit Singh 'missing' after having confessed to killing an unarmed Sanjit Meitei

Salma Rahman | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:30 IST

Suspended head constable Thounaojam Herojit Singh went missing on 27 January - two days after confessed to having killed an 'unarmed' Chungkham Sanjit Meitei in the notorious Imphal encounter case of 2009.

Babloo Loitongbam, Director of the Human Rights Alert, told Catch that Singh was supposed to land at the Imphal airport at 11.20 am in the morning but there was not report of his arrival at the airport.

Loitongbam said that Singh's wife was waiting for him to arrive and was worried when he failed to turn up until 3.30 pm.

Loitongbam, who spoke to Singh while he was in Delhi said that the former constable had flown to Delhi on 25 January, "after his confession to escape the backlash which he was afraid he would face after the news broke in the media. But once he realised that things might be ok he decided to go back home today."

On being asked why Singh chose to make the confession seven years after the controversial encounter, Loitongbam said, "He was the one who pulled the trigger and he was afraid that he will be the first to go down. He was also hopeless over his suspension as he thought the police institution abandoned him even after he followed the orders which were given to him."

"Singh said that the officers who had given him the instructions were kept out of the ambit of the investigation and had alleged that the probe was unfair to him."

Loitongbam has written a letter to the National Human Rights Comission about Singh's disappearance.

Read the full text of the letter here.

To,

The Chairperson
National Human Rights Commission
New Delhi

Subject: Disappearance of Mr. Thounaojam Herojit Singh

Sir,
Mr. Thounaojam Herojit Singh, head constable of the Manpower police who made a startling admission of the involvement of superior officer in a fake encounter he executed 6 years ago (attached a copy of the Indian Express), who boarded the Delhi-Imphal Indigo flight scheduled to take off Delhi at 7.20 a.m. today, has not come out of the Imphal Airport.
Mr. Thounaojam's wife Ratana Devi has been waiting in front of the airport since 11.00 a.m., the time his flight was expected to land in Imphal, but there is no sign of him coming out till 3.30 pm,when the last fight from the airport has taken off and the airport is closing. The airline has also not disclosed his status.
Considering the fact that Herojit's statement to the media has serious consequences to the present S.P. of Imphal West District, Dr. Akoijam Jhalajit, as well as the DG and CM of Manipur , the family and friends of Herojit are seriously concerned that he could have been arbitrarily arrested and detained inside the airport or elsewhere.
HRA, on behalf do these family and friends of Herojit, would like to lodge a complaint. HRA shall be grateful if NHRC could kindly register a formal complaint of missing person and help in tracing the whereabouts of Herojit, and to ensure that he is not put under mental and physical torture for having revealed the right details of the incident of fake encounter.
Thanking you in anticipation.
Yours sincerely,
Babloo Loitongbam
Executive Director


The 2009 encounter

In 2009, 22-year-old Meitei, a suspected member of the insurgent group People's Liberation Army (PLA), was shot down by the Commandos of the Manipur police on the grounds that he was armed. His death sparked a number of protests across the state.

Seven years after the incident, Singh, who is a gallantry award-winner, has revealed that he shot Meitei on the orders of his senior, then-Additional SP, Imphal West, Dr Akoijam Jhalajhit.

The CBI, who took charge of the alleged encounter, is now revisiting the case.

In all, there are nine accused in the case - Singh and eight other Manipur commandos - all of whom are under suspension. None of them have been arrested.

First published: 27 January 2016, 9:50 IST
 
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