Why no arrests in Manipur fake encounter cases yet? SC raises questions on CBI probe

Pulling up the central agency, the SC said that it is leaving it to the CBI chief and SIT in-charge to decide whether those chargesheeted for murder need to be arrested. 

Why no arrests in Manipur fake encounter cases yet? SC raises questions on CBI probe

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) over the investigation into the alleged extra-judicial killings and fake encounters by the Army, Assam Rifles and police in Manipur. The court asked why no arrests have been made in the case yet. 

CBI Director Alok Verma, who was asked to appear before the court on Monday, said that some people are being questioned but since the case is very old, there is no new information that can be gathered from the questioning. Slamming the CBI Director, Justice Madan B Lokur asked if that means that those guilty for the fake encounters will be allowed to roam free? 

The court also said that despite the CBI chargesheets naming the culprits, the agency is not doing anything to arrest them. "According to your chargesheet, 14 (of the 15 accused) murderers are roaming around in Manipur. You want Manipur to be surrounded by murderers? Does your argument mean that if a woman is raped, you will not hold the person accountable because you do not have anything to get from them," the court questioned. 

Pulling up the central agency, the SC said that it is leaving it to the CBI chief and SIT in-charge to decide whether those chargesheeted for murder need to be arrested. The CBI director assured the court that he will soon take a decision on the same. He said that 14 have been chargesheeted for the alleged murder, criminal conspiracy, destruction of evidence and by August 31, five more final reports will be filed in separate encounter cases in Manipur. He added that the probe in 20 more cases will be completed by December end.

The apex court is hearing a PIL seeking probe into 1,528 alleged extra-judicial killings in the north eastern state. The SC had earlier in January chided the investigative agency for not registering the required number of cases in the matter, as directed by it earlier. 

The top court had on July 14 last set up an SIT comprising five CBI officers, and ordered registration of FIRs and probe into the alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur. It had asked the CBI director to lodge the necessary FIRs and complete the investigation by December 31 last year.

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