People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 37

September 13, 2009



CPI(M) Lambasts Atrocities, Human Rights Violations


Senate Khuraijam


SINCE the incident on July 23, Manipur has been in the news in the national media. What had happened on the day was that, at around 10:30 a m, a bullet hit Smt Thokchom Rabina Devi, in her forehead, at Khwairamband Bazar, killing this young pregnant woman, aged 22 years, instantly. Five other persons, including a woman, suffered bullet injuries on the day.  


A little later, a youth called Ch Sanjit was killed inside a pharmacy, some 100 metres away from the spot where Mrs Rabina was killed.




On the same day, in the state assembly, which was then in session, Okram Ibobi Singh, the chief minister of Manipur, made a statement in connection with these incidents, at around 5 p m. He said, ��..due to the indiscriminate firing by an unknown armed person, one unidentified lady succumbed to bullet injury near Sulabh toilet and five persons suffered bullet injuries on their bodies. A youth was finally cornered inside Maimu Pharmacy near Gambhir Singh shopping arcade. He was asked to surrender. Instead of surrendering, he fired upon the police party from inside the pharmacy. The police party retaliated and in the retaliatory firing the unknown youth was shot dead on the spot.�


The members of the house believed in the statement made by the leader of the house and condemned the incident. They condemned the culture of violence which has been predominant in Manipur for a long time.


However, a spontaneous outcry of the people followed the statement.


The truth of the incident came to light after a Delhi based magazine, Tehelka, exposed the reality of the incident. It showed, sequence by sequence, photographs of the cold blooded murder committed by the Manipur police commandos. Ever since then, various civil organisations and political parties, except the Congress and the Communist Party of India, have demanded resignation from the chief minister of Manipur. This was not the first time that security personnel of Manipur have indulged in a fake encounter, all in the name of counter insurgency operations.




From the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Ramchandra Dom, a member of parliament from West Bengal, visited Manipur on September 4 to take stock of the latest situation in the state. As soon as he landed at the Imphal airport, he proceeded to visit the family of Ch Sanjit. State CPI(M) secretary Sarat Salam and state secretariat member Ksh Santa accompanied him. A team of media personnel had also accompanied him.


A sizeable meeting took place at the residence of the victim, Ch Sanjit. It was organised by the Joint Action Committee that was formed to protest against the gruesome murder of Sanjit. Condoling the death of Sanjit, the CPI(M) MP expressed deep sense of solidarity with the bereaved family and with the agitators who have been carrying out a relentless struggle despite the atrocities the state police and security forces are indulging in. Dom maintained that there is no room for extremism in a democratic set-up. Nor does the constitution of the country give anyone, even the security forces, the right to kill innocent people in the name of fighting the insurgents and extremists of any kind. Dom described the July 23 incident as a ghastly and mindless act of violence committed by the security forces. He asked the chief minister not to try wash out his responsibility, adding that the demand of the people for his resignation was a just demand.


The CPI(M) MP said his party stands against any kind of state authoritarianism and would not tolerate any kind of extra-judicial murder on the part of the state actors. He also reiterated that the CPI(M) has been against any kind of draconian laws like the AFSPA (1958), POTA, NSA and MACOCA etc. It is high time that black laws like AFSPA should be repealed as there is enough provision under the constitution to deal with extremism and terrorism in the country. Following the meeting, Dom and state leaders of the CPI(M) led a protest rally up to the main market of Khurai.


Along with the state CPI(M) leaders, Dom also met the late Mrs Th Rabina�s family who live around 12 km away from Imphal. Conveying his deep sense of shock to the bereaved family, Dom assured them that the fight for justice would go on. Ironically, the father in law of the victim lady was a supporter of the Congress party till the last Lok Sabha elections. He said that the incident which had occurred to his family and the manner in which the Congress government had responded had been an eye opener for him. He said that in future he would work his level best to see that the Congress party gets defeated.


The Joint Action Committee, which was formed to protest against the killing of Mrs Rabina, expressed their sense of gratitude to Dom and the state CPI(M) leaders.


In the evening, Dom had a joint meeting at the state CPI(M) office with the leaders of opposition parties in the state. These included the Manipur Peoples� Party as well as of the state units of the BJP, NCP, MSCP, RSP and AIFB. An all-party delegation later submitted a memorandum to the chief minister; it was led by former Manipur chief minister Radhabinod Koijam who is at present the leader of opposition in the state assembly and also the president of the NCP�s Manipur unit. The memorandum highlighted a report given by the union home minister in the parliament, saying that out of 106 fake encounters in the country in the year 2009 so far, 16 had occurred in Manipur alone.


Apart from the other demands raised by the civil organisations, the delegation demanded the institution of a judicial enquiry into all the past cases of suspected fake encounters or extra-judicial killings in the state.


On September 5, Dom met a delegation of the Civil Society Coalition for Peace, Social Justice and Development, which, is a conglomerate of six voluntary civil organisations working in Manipur. The delegation also gave him a note highlighting the extra-judicial killings in the state, demanding the repeal of black laws, implementation of Justice Reddy commission�s recommendations at the earliest, etc. It had also raised an important demand to ponder upon --- that the union government must declare a violent conflict as a national disaster in the forthcoming parliament session and evolve immediate, middle term and long term strategies to actively involve the civil society and NGOs in peace building programmes and interventions across the country, in the northeast region in particular. It also demanded that the national, regional and state level budgets as well as five year plans must reflect this thinking. The CPI(M) leader assured them that the matter would be brought to the notice of the party for discussion. He also underscored the need to carry forward the democratic struggle, without which the fundamental essence of democracy would always be in jeopardy. The civil society organisations have a huge responsibility in this regard, he asserted.


At a press conference held at the state party office, Dom highlighted the role played by the CPI(M) in safeguarding democracy in the country. The party has taken a very serious note of the situation in Manipur, more particularly of the law and order problem here. He said it is unfortunate that an authoritative regime is seeking to stifle the democratic movement of the people here. He asserted that the chief minister of Manipur has no moral right to stick to his post any longer.


Dom also gave a talk at Manipur University before he left Imphal.