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Inquiry panel summons Tehelka columnists on ‘fake encounter’
Correspondent IMPHAL, NOV 26:
Published on 27 Nov. 2009 1:26 AM IST
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PG Agarwal commission enquiring into July 23 alleged “fake encounter” in Khwairamband Bazar, Imphal has ordered to summon two columnists of Delhi based weekly magazine, Tehelka, to appear before the commission and give their statements. A one-man inquiry commission headed by Justice (retired) PG Agarwal has ordered an inquiry on the fact and circumstances leading to the shooting incident that claimed the lives of a pregnant housewife Th Rabina and former militant Ch Sanjit apart from injuring five others, stated a hearing conducted on Thursday at Imphal Hotel, North AOC. Teresa Rehman of Tehelka exposed the July 23 incident as “fake encounter” with sequence of 12 photographs showing the moments before, during and after the ‘encounter killing’ of a 27-year-old Sanjit by a heavily-armed detachment from Manipur’s Rapid Action Police Force, commonly known as the Manipur Police Commandos (MPC) in her article “Murder in Plain Sight” (Tehelka Magazine, Vol 6, Issue 31, Dated August 08, 2009). Shoma Chaudhury, another columnist of the same magazine wrote “Life in Shadow Land” (Vol 6, Issue 32, Dated August 15, 2009) as a follow up report in the wake of public agitations leading to the imposition of curfew in Imphal east and west district by the state government. The commission asked the police to make necessary arrangements of furnishing the summon letters through the editor in-chief of the magazine Tarun J Tejpal in New Delhi to ensure their appearance in the next hearing of the commission on December 16, 2009. Earlier, the commission recorded statements of personnel of 3 Assam Rifles, P Lukhoi and owner of the watch repairing shop at BT Road where the former militant Ch Sanjit was shot dead by the police commandos. In this statement, Lukhoi said that he witnessed the incident while going with one of his colleagues, Th James on a motorcycle for official duty. According to his disposal, the firing on that day was not from small gun but a big weapon like the AK-series rifles. Mention may be made police commandos alleged that Sanjit was firing with a Mauser gun they recovered from the spot near his dead body. The owner of the watch repairing shop T Ranbir did not say anything except that Sanjit was killed in a room inside his shop which was used as godown. He said at the time of the incident, he was lying on the ground and could do nothing.

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