CBI registers 5 FIRs in fake Manipur encounter cases

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday registered five FIRs against the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Imphal Police and Assam Rifles personnel in connection with alleged Manipur fake encounter cases. The Supreme Court had ordered the CBI to probe the killings.

The Supreme Court bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice UU Lalit on November 12 dismissed a plea seeking their recusal from hearing a case on the alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur. The petition was filed by 300 serving Army officers. “There is no material to recuse from hearing alleged Manipur fake encounter case,” the apex court had said.

The application had been filed before the bench to recuse the judges from hearing the case as remarks passed by the bench during one of the hearings were prejudicial to the probe and affected the morale of the armed forces.

Attorney General KK Venugopal had told the bench that the Centre supports the armed forces that face difficult situations in areas like Manipur and have to adopt various methods. Venugopal had said the reported remarks of the bench that these officers were “murderers” had affected the morale of police and armed forces.

The separate plea was filed by over 300 serving Army officers against the dilution of Armed Force Special Powers Act (AFSPA) that gives immunity to military personnel from prosecution for their actions in disturbed and insurgency-hit areas.

The court was hearing the main case which was a PIL seeking a probe into 1,528 cases of extra-judicial killings in Manipur.

On July 14, 2017, the apex court set up the Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officers and ordered the registration of FIRs and investigation into the alleged killings.

The court had ordered the registration of FIRs in 81 cases, including 32 probed by a commission of inquiry, 32 investigated by judicial authorities, 11 in which compensation was awarded and six probed by a commission headed by former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde.