INDIA: Manipur state police officers must be investigated for two extrajudicial killings and the shooting of five bystanders


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-098-2009
ISSUES: Extrajudicial killings, Impunity,

Dear friends, 

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a team of Manipur Police Commandos (MPC) shot a pregnant woman dead in front of her young son, allegedly by accident, and shot dead a young man at close range in custody. Officials claim that the man was trying to escape but eyewitnesses and photos released by media contradict this. Five other civilians were seriously injured by the gunfire. This is the latest in a series of cases that casts doubt on the manner in which people in Manipur are dying while in the custody or presence of police. 


According to the information received, both deaths happened on 23 July in the heart of Imphal town. Mayanglambam Thokchom Rabina was seven-months pregnant while Chongthan Sanjeet Meitei had been taken inside a shop to be searched, and was killed inside it. Five bystanders were shot and injured (details in the letter below). 

The official version of the incident describes how a team of MPC police was conducting frisking operations in Imphal’s Khwairamband Keithel market and asked a suspicious youth to stop. It is claimed that he produced a gun, fired at the public and ran away. The report allegedly states that at Maimu Pharmacy near Gambhir Singh Shopping Arcade, the man started to shoot at the police, who returned fire and killed him. 

However a series of photographs, and bystander and media reports offer factual evidence to contradict this. A Delhi-based news magazine, Tehelka has released a series of photos that caught the entire incident on camera; they show Sanjeet being frisked by police commandos, talking calmly to the officers surrounding him, being lead into a pharmacy and his lifeless body being dragged out shortly after. The police then told the public that he was killed in a shoot out. 
They have since claimed that Sanjeet was a member of an illegal organisation operating in the state. 

The Asian Human Rights Commission is extremely concerned to hear that, on the day of these killings, at the 15th sitting of the ninth Manipur State Legislative Assembly, the State Chief Minister read out and supported a statement by Chief of Police, which noted that ‘there is no alternative way but to kill’ insurgents. The legislator audience reportedly clapped. 

It has been claimed by the officers that the pregnant Rabina was killed in a similar event on the same day when another man tried to run away while being frisked by police. During the chase, it is alleged that police opened fire and accidentally shot Rabina, as well as injuring five other civilians. Turbulent protests have since been staged against these daylight state murders and the resulting cover up. 

The AHRC is surprised and troubled that that instead of instituting a judicial inquiry into the murders, the state government has simply set up a departmental inquiry. The chances of the police department conducting an independent or impartial enquiry in this case are slim, considering the circumstances and the false claims already made and upheld in the face of dissenting evidence. 


Growing unrest and an increase in militancy prompted the Indian government to declare parts of Manipur as ‘disturbed areas’ for a decade. The draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) was brought into use in Manipur in September 1980 and provides impunity to the officers engaged in full-scale military operations in the state. Even non-commissioned officers enjoy the authority that allows them to arrest and detain people without a warrant and kill persons on suspicion. 
Despite the use of the AFSPA the situation in Manipur has changed very little and it continues to be an area of lawlessness, ironically ruled by the security forces, with people now living in fear of dying in fake encounter killings. There is a reluctance to ask for the services of the police, adding to the breakdown of the rule of law. 

Intense local protests against the security forces and the AFSPA led to the formation of a Committee, chaired by Justice B P Jeevan Reddy, to reinvestigate the issues raised and in their report they recommended to parliament that the Act be repealed. Despite this the government has made it clear that the law may be amended but not annulled. 

Though section 46 of the Criminal Procedure Code states that if a death is caused by state forces in an encounter, which cannot be justified by this code, the officer involved in the killing is guilty of culpable homicide. Yet the MPC, which operates in four districts of Manipur- Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal and Bishnupur, engage in frequent killings, some in broad daylight in crowded city areas and are rarely held accountable, and even more rarely brought before the law. It is common for severely distorted versions of these occurrences to be released and upheld, even when evidence dictates otherwise. 

The MPC, which was set up in 1979, is not engaged under the AFSPA, but their use of armed force is on regular display. In 2008 alone there were 27 recorded cases of torture and killings attributed to the unit. 


Please send a letter to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case and calling for those responsible for extrajudicial killing and other abuses of the law in Manipur to be brought before it. 

Please be informed that the AHRC has written a separate letter to the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions calling for an intervention into this case. 

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Dear __________, 

Re: INDIA: Manipur state police officers must be investigated for two extrajudicial killings and the shooting of five bystanders 

Name of victims: 
1. Mayanglambam Thokchom Rabina, aged 23 years, wife of Chinglensana of Lamdeng Khunou 
2. Chongthan Sanjeet Meitei, Khurai Kongpal Sajor Leikai, Tinsid Road, Imphal East District 
3. Wankheirakpam Gitarani Devi, wife of deceased W. Nongyai Singh of Tengdongyang; in a serious condition from a gun shot injury on her chest and left leg 
4. Ningthoujam Kishorani Devi, wife of N. Raghumani Singh of Narakonjin; shot in her left leg 
5. Golmei Mangol, son of Lemba of Maha Kabui Namching, Keithelmanbi; bullet injury in his left arm 
6. Pangambam Lukhoi Singh, son of P. Pakchao Singh of Heingang Makha Leikai; shot in the chest and in a serious condition 
7. Kangabam Subhachandra Singh, son of K. Samungou Singh of Kha-Potsangbam; suffered minor injuries to his right ear. 
Name of alleged perpetrators: Officers of Manipur Police Commandos 

Date of incident: 23 July 2009 
Place of incident: Imphal, Manipur, India 

I am writing to voice my concern regarding the killing of a pregnant woman and a young man by Manipur Police Commandos (MPC) on 23 July 2009. I am informed that five other persons were also injured in the incident. 

According to the information I have received the MPC was conducting a search in the town, and Chongthan Sanjeet Meitei was taken into a local medical shop, where he was shot, and his body dragged out by officers shortly after. The woman, Rabina, was killed in another incident that day in which police shot at a person who was allegedly fleeing from the area. The five other bystanders were also injured in the shooting. 

All are victims of the abuse of power continually on display by state agents in Manipur, along with a gross disregard for the law, and for the safety of those they are bound to protect. I am outraged by a statement read by the state Chief Minister in the State Legislative Assembly, justifying these kinds of killings. 

I am aware that the media has documented the entire incident and it has been reported widely in the country, yet the official report given by the police involved is vastly different and exonerates them. I am informed that no independent legal inquiry has been ordered into the deaths, and that no action has been taken against the police officers involved. I consider the police department inquiry that has been ordered extremely unlikely to be independent or impartial, considering the circumstances and the false claims already made and upheld in the face of dissenting evidence. 

In light of the above facts and circumstances, I request that necessary legal action be taken in order to: 

1. Bring out the fact of the killing of innocent civilians through judicial inquiry without any delay; 
2. Punish the police officers involved in the incident; 
3. Provide compensation to the victims in the incident and protection to the witnesses; 
4. Repeal the AFSPA according to the recent recommendations made by Justice Jeeven Reddy Commission 

Yours sincerely, 



1. Mr. Okram Ibobi Singh 
Chief Minister of Manipur 
New Secretariat Building 
Bapupara, Imphal, Manipur 
Fax + 91 385 2451398 

2. Chief Secretary, Manipur 
Old Secretariat Building 
Bapupara, Imphal, Manipur 
Fax + 91 385 2222629 

3. Director General of Police 
Police Headquarter 
Bapupara, Imphal, Manipur 
Fax + 91 385 2223829 

4. Deputy Commissioner 
Mini-Secretariat, Bishenpur, Manipur 
Fax: + 91 3879 222349 

Thank you 
Urgent Appeals Programme 
Asian Human Rights Commission (

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : AHRC-UAC-098-2009
Countries : India,
Issues : Extrajudicial killings, Impunity,