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SC poser on law and order in NE
Published on 11 Jun. 2009 12:58 AM IST
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This is the first poser from the Supreme Court to the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government at the Centre and it has a serious bearing on the insurgency-caused deteriorating law and order situation in north-eastern states, particularly Manipur. A vacation Bench comprising Justices B Sudershan Reddy and Aftab Alam on Tuesday touched upon the seriousness of the problem after the CBI came up with an unusual plea — permit the agency to produce an NSCN (I-M) leader accused of murdering a civil servant in a court in Delhi instead of the designated one in Manipur lest it could lead to a violent Naga-Meitei clash. As additional solicitor general Amarendra Saran, appearing for CBI, tried to convey the grave law and order implications of CBI producing NSCN (I-M) Kiusumong batallion “Lt Col’’ Hopeson Nigshen, arrested on charges of murdering a Meitei SDO Dr Thingnam Kishan Singh, the Bench asked: “What is happening? The situation appears to be critical there.” Saran agreed, for the judges appeared to have thoroughly scanned the petition and the supporting documents relating to the abduction and murder of Singh in February this year by NSCN (I-M) cadre which caused a furious outburst of public anger after it learnt that the abducted Naga employees were released before the killing of the Meitei officer in Ukhrul district. In a rare order, the Bench as an interim order allowed the arrested militant to be produced before a Delhi court and agreed to hear the agency’s petition wanting the transfer of the case from Ukhrul to Delhi. According to Times News Network, the CBI said that the SDO and five of his staff were abducted on February 13 by NSCN (I-M) militants. Three of them, who were Tankhul Nagas, were released the very next day. The bodies of three abducted officials were recovered from Senapati district on February 17. “It may be pertinent to note here that all dead persons belonged to Meitei community and three released persons belonged to Tankhul Naga community, which resulted in ethnic tension between Meiteis and Nagas in Manipur,” it said. Fearing another round of violent clash between the warring communities, the CBI said if Nigshen was taken to Manipur for being produced in a court in Ukhrul, it could lead to a serious law and order problem. , breach of peace, violence and threat to the life and safety of the accused. The accused would not be safe even in judicial custody, the CBI said rejecting its faith in the ability of the Ibobi Singh government to control the situation.

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