Three soldiers of the 18 Sikh Regiment have been let off despite prima facie involvement in the extra-judicial killing of Thangjam Thoithoi alias Anil Kumar in Imphal seven years ago.
The CBI, which charge sheeted nine Manipur policemen for involvement in Thoithoi’s murder, says prosecution sanction for the soldiers was not available.
The soldiers were apparently shielded from prosecution in a civil court by the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
The nine policemen against whom the CBI submitted charge sheet over the alleged extra judicial killing of Thangjam Thoithoi alias Anilkumar of Thangmeiband Sinam Leikai have already surrendered before the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West on October 19.
They were later released on bail of Rs 75,000 along with surety of similar amount each.
They were identified as jamadar Laitonjam Bibekananda , sub inspector Laikhuram Lenin , head constable Ronra Mataisang Shimray , head constable Moirangthem Kiran , jamadar Arambam Sunder , rifleman Nongthongbam Brajamani, head constable Aribam Captain Sharma, head constable Thokchom Amarjit and constable Huidrom Indrakumar.
The CJM Court allowed the accused cops to surrender and gave them bail on a PR bond of Rs 75,000 each along with surety of the same amount.
It also directed the relevant papers of the charge sheets to be furnished to the accused cops and fixed November 4 for committal process of the charge sheet.
On October 16, the charge sheet was submitted after completion of investigation into the extra judicial killing of Thangjam Thoithoi on January 14, 2012.
He was killed at Mayai Lambi junction under Wangoi PS in Imphal by a combined team of Manipur police commandos and 18 Sikh Regiment.
No personnel of 18 Sikh Regiment, who were part of the extra judicial killing of Thangjam Thoithoi, were listed as accused in the charge sheet because prosecution sanction under Armed Force Special Power Act to be accorded by the Centre was not available.
The CBI has been ordered by Supreme Court in 2017 to investigate 81 cases of fake encounters and extra judicial killings in insurgency-afflicted Manipur.