The Supreme Court on Thursday suggested a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the encounter killings in Manipur, which was opposed by the NHRC and the Centre.
Referring to some judicial investigations which found out that some people were killed in fake encounters, the Bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai said, “Why there should not be a proper investigation? There is something more than meets the eye. So many encounters took place. Situation is not normal. We are concerned about the failure of the constitutional scheme.”
The amicus curiae in the case Menaka suggested a CBI probe, but the Bench said the agency would take years to complete the investigation. “What will the CBI do? It will take years and years,” the Bench remarked.
Senior counsel Amarendra Sharan, appearing for Manipur, told the Bench that the SIT was not a solution and guidelines would help.
The proposition of setting up SIT was opposed by the Centre and the NHRC (National Human Rights Commissions). The Commission said it would not be possible for SIT to probe such a large number of cases.
The apex court expressed surprise on how a 12-year old boy, said to be a militant, was killed in the state. “How can a 12-year old boy be a terrorist,” the Bench asked.
The Bench was told that “they were looking for Azad and when the boy told his name was Azad, they shot him dead before 10 witnesses”.