Sanjit Meitei’s killing near the state assembly in Imphal led to protests across Manipur. A head constable who shot him confessed that the suspected People’s Liberation Army member was unarmed. The CBI is re-investigating the case even as the Supreme Court chastised the NHRC for not being “pro-active” in a case looking at 1,528 extra-judicial killings in Manipur.
Over seven years after the extrajudicial killing of 17 villagers, including six children, in south Chhattisgarh, the V.K. Agarwal Commission stated it could not find any evidence of villagers firing at security forces. “There was no satisfactory evidence that the confrontation occurred with members of a Naxal outfit,” reads the commission’s report.
On April 7, 2015, 20 alleged Red Sanders smugglers were killed in an ‘encounter’ with police and forest personnel in the Seshachalam forests of Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh. The police were attacked, but suffered no injuries due to “superior training”, claimed a DIG. The high court directed the state to file an FIR against the policemen involved. The matter is still in court.
In November 2018, the CBI began an inquiry into the killing of 12 alleged Maoists, four of whom were children, in Satbarva, Jharkhand, in the intervening night of June 8-9, 2015. The CBI took up the case after a victim’s father moved the high court. The FIR had claimed Maoists fired “indiscriminately”, but only 19 cartridges were recovered, while the police exhausted 200 rounds.
On October 31, 2016, eight SIMI undertrials who had allegedly escaped from Bhopal Central Jail were shot about 15 km from the prison. Videos of the incident surfaced on social media and the NHRC expressed concern. The victims’ families alleged they had been killed in cold blood. In 2018, a judicial probe said the killings were “quite inevitable...quite reasonable”.
Greater Noida 2017
In October 2017, the NHRC issued a notice to the UP government and police after ‘wanted criminal’ Sumit Gurjar’s family claimed he was killed in a staged encounter. Eyewitnesses said Sumit, a 22-year-old farmer, was abducted by five men in a white SUV on September 30. Villagers demanded justice at a panchayat organised a year later. Many BJP leaders have assured the family of a CBI inquiry.
In the intervening night of September 13-14, the Chhattisgarh police killed two alleged Maoists near Kutrem village in Dantewada. Security forces were said to be combing the area in preparation for a bypoll. Cases were filed against activists, including Soni Sori and Bela Bhatia, who alleged that Lachu Mandavi and Podiya Sori were falsely labelled as Maoists and shot dead.
On December 11, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a petition for an independent probe into the extrajudicial killing of four men accused of raping and murdering a 26-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad. The encounter took place after the men snatched their weapons in the wee hours of December 6, the police claimed. The woman’s body was found on November 28, a day after she died.