For almost a decade starting from early 2000, front-page stories of almost every newspaper published in the state were about persons killed in encounters with security forces. The first-hand report of almost all news appeared as the front page story goes with the security claimed at which they often term those killed as militants. Follow-up stories following almost every encounter killing related stories turn out to be ‘fake’. Family members, relatives, local residents, and members of civil society organizations would always uproar with different stories on the claimed by security forces about the killing of a person whom they alleged to have been militants and killed in gunfight. The decade shows several bandhs, blockade, and even hostile agitation freezing normal life in the entire state. Local media reports, but intimidations shun their voices many times concealing the truth. Even after knowing the truth that those killed by SF during those days were innocent civilians and were killed in staged encounter, there were not so many people who could voice against such extrajudicial killing effectively. Until a news portal Tehelka exposed about a staged encountered that happened in July 23, 2009, none of the national media had taken up any story about such fake encounter related events. With the Rights bodies of the state like the HRA, HRI putting up those incidents of fake encounter killing in the state to the notice of the world platform, somehow by the beginning of 2011, the torturous inhuman encounter drama reduced. Probe after probe and investigation after investigation by authority slowly revealed the reality and finally, those reported killed in alleged encounter turn out to be cold-blooded murderers. But as the state uses every means to blanketed the matter, only those families of the victims killed shed tears as justice has never been delivered.
During those days the then regime has no respect for the provisions of the constitution of India even though they were serving under that. Article 21 of the constitution of India was a joke. Even though India was then a member of the United Nations, the country’s machineries had no respect for the Article 6 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights which stated that Every human being has the inherent right to life and this shall be protected by law. The so-called security forces as well as those administering the state have no regard for the international provisions which stated that “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life”.
Extra-Judicial Execution Victim Families Association, Manipur ( EEVFAM) was an association form by widow, mothers, and sisters of victims of such alleged encounter killing. The association was born today eleven years ago. It is their effort that the total count of victims who were tortured and killed in cold blood has been documented to 1528 cases. They have been fighting for justice for so long and till today even after the Supreme Court has directed to deliver the justice they are still deprived of justice. So far no persons has been punished who are responsible for killing the numerous harmless people.
What is more disheartening is that some among those whom the victims’ family felt responsible for killing for their near and dear ones have even become more powerful by becoming a part of the government. But hopes still stirs, the tears of the mothers, widows, of those victims will surely haunt their memories.