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Can’t hold Army responsible for ”alleged” encounters: Centre to SC

Indian soldiers take positions with a rocket launcher during an encounter at Kanzalwan forests, in Gurez sector, 119 kms ( 74 miles) north of Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir in India August 22, 2000. Indian army authorities said that five foreign militants and an Indian army soldier were killed in the gunbattle. FK/DL

New Delhi: The Centre informed the Supreme Court that the Army cannot be held responsible for alleged encounters in Manipur as it was discharging its sovereign function to defend the nation from external aggression.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi yesterday said that Justice Santosh Hegde committee report on alleged 1,500 extra judicial killings should be rejected.

The committee had found in its report that the encounters were not genuine and the victims did not have any criminal record.

Rohatgi told a bench of justices that the Army was only discharging its function of defending the country from external aggression, so the force cannot be blamed.

He also said that the report is already pending scrutiny of the government.

Justice Hegde committee was appointed in January 2013 to hold an inquiry into alleged fake encounter killings in Manipur after a PIL was filed by families of the victims.