SIT prelim report can’t be made public: ADG

SIT prelim report can’t be made public: ADG
(3rd from L) Sandeep Tamgadge with other officers during the press conference at PHQ, Kohima on Thursday. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, JAN 13 (NPN) | Publish Date: 1/13/2022 12:45:08 PM IST

Amidst the growing clamour to make the Special Investigation Team’s (SIT) preliminary report on Oting-Tiru incident public, additional director general (law & order) Sandeep M Tamgadge has clarified that this was not legally tenable.

Addressing a press conference at police headquarters (PHQ) here on Thursday, Tamgadge, who is also supervising the SIT, explained that once FIR was registered under Section 154 CrPC, it was submitted to the court of law and the result of the investigation, in any form, by an investigation agency was supposed to be shared only with the court. Therefore, he pointed out putting the preliminary report in public domain, especially when the investigation was incomplete, was not legally tenable.

Giving details of the investigation process, the ADG said forensic samples have been collected from the site and sent to Guwahati and Hyderabad forensic science laboratories (FSL) for tests, whose were results were awaited. 

Mentioning that it was difficult to say how much more time the FSLs would take to share their reports, he said one SP-ranked officer has been entrusted with the task of constantly following up with the labs. He claimed that special requests have been made to the labs to expedite their scientific analysis considering sensitive nature of the case. 

He said the SIT would prepare its final report after the results of the forensic tests were received, adding that the final report would then be submitted to special court, Mon.

“As soon as we receive these reports, which are very crucial reports, we will be in a position to start preparing the final report which will be submitted to the honorable competent special court,” he said. He mentioned that criminal investigation was a “technical-legal procedure” carried out under Chapter XII of CrPC. 

Claiming that the investigation by SIT was largely over, Tamgadge said only cyber forensic probe was underway now. He mentioned that multiple call detail records (CDRs) have been collected of multiple phone numbers, adding that CDR analysis too was by and large over.

He said that the SIT had worked overtime racing against time to complete the preliminary investigation. He said the team examined over 85 civilian witnesses, including those injured at Mon, Dimapur and Dibrugarh, villagers, government officials, drivers, etc.

He mentioned that notices were issued to Indian Army under Sec. 91 seeking important documents, which were duly provided and from which the team got details of the personnel involved in the incident.

Further, summons were issued under Section 160 CrPC and 37 officers and other ranks of the army and Assam Rifles were examined, he added.

He said the SIT examined the entire operating unit of December 4 that was led by one Major-rank officer and included two JCOs and 31 personnel. He revealed that the 37 officials examined by the SIT included one CO-rank officer, one brigadier-rank officer and one major-rank officer.

He mentioned that two statements of surviving victims too were recorded under Section 164.

Tamgadge said the guiding principle of SIT was to conduct the investigation as professionally as possible so that the evidence could withstand intense legal scrutiny in any court of law.

Considering that the SIT notification order had provision for co-opting more officers if required, he said more officers were co-opted and the team’s strength swelled to 21 officers from PHQ, including four officers from Konyak community.

He further stated that the case registered at Tizit police station was later transferred to State Crime Police station in Kohima and an FIR was registered under sections 302, 307 and 34 of IPC.

To conduct the investigation in a professional manner and cover all aspects of offence by going into details of how the operation was conducted by the army and Assam Rifles, the circum-stances of operation, etc, Tamgadge informed the media that SIT was divided into eight teams.

While four teams were given the task of examining the cases, injured victims, witnesses in Mon, Dimapur and Dibrugarh, doctors, villagers, etc, he said one team was assigned with cyber and technical analysis of electronic evidences, another team at PHQ under the supervision of DIG for compilation of documents and another assigned to purely study the scene of crime, recon-struct the crime that had occurred, collect materials and evidences from the scene and send for forensic analysis and the last team was tasked with coordinating with various forensic science laboratories, be it Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) or NILIT, Kohima.

The ADG said SIT had visited the crime scene on multiple occasions during the last one month and collected multiple evidences in the form of empty ammunitions, other exhibits and audio and video evidences that were original and not forwarded.

Also, on the request of SIT, he mentioned that four senior forensic scientific analysts from CFSLs Guwahati and Hyderabad visited the scene of crime on December 21, reconstructed the entire events and examined various possibilities. 

He said soil and blood samples were sent to CFSL Guwahati and Hyderabad and their reports were awaited, while the videos extracted from original source were currently under forensic analysis.

Responding to a query, Tamgadge claimed that both army and Assam Rifles personnel were co-operative with SIT and all the information and documents sought from them were received. 

He said criminal investigation followed certain procedures and took into account all sides, ver-sions and aspects of the case and, accordingly, the officers were examined. He added that, if required and after the forensic analysis reports were received, they could be asked to cooperate and join the investigation again.

To another query, he replied the statements of the army officers were not pre-recorded but ac-tually examined based on the evidence.

As criminal justice system did not work on the basis of information but was evidence based, he claimed that all efforts were on to conduct the investigation in a professional manner and all legal evidences would be placed before the court of law. 

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