|‘AR not involved in extra-judicial killings’|
SHILLONG, May 31 – The Assam Rifles (AR) today put up a spirited defense stating its personnel have never indulged in extra-judicial killings.
AR Director General, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh asserted, “it is not a fact” when his attention was drawn to the report of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee that probed six alleged cases of extra-judicial killings in Manipur that included a 12-year-old boy.
The six people were killed in an operation carried out by AR and Manipur Police Commandos. However, the SC-Committee, comprising former Supreme Court Judge Santosh Hegde, former CEC JM Lyngdoh and former Karnataka DGP, Ajay Kumar Singh, concluded that these people had no criminal records.
Lt Gen Singh was reluctant to speak initially on any security-related matter, during a tree plantation drive at its headquarters at Laitkor here, nonetheless, clarified on the sensitive issue of extra-judicial killings.
The DG, expressed his unhappiness over media reports quoting Meghalaya Governor RS Mooshahary being critical about AR and its involvement in such extra-judicial killings.
Mooshahary, during an investiture ceremony of the paramilitary force at the Raj Bhavan on April 5, said that such killings were “unacceptable to the people of the North East.” The gathering included top AR officials, including the AR chief.
“I deeply appreciate your work in difficult situations, but in the name of encounters if innocents are targeted then it cannot be accepted,” he told the gathering.
Meanwhile, Lt Gen Singh said that the overall security scenario in the NE was under control. The AR apart from manning the hostile Indo-Myanmar border is also involved in counter-insurgency operations in Manipur and other parts of the region.
The DG refused to comment on the reported nexus between the Maoists and the People’s Liberation Army of Manipur and setting its base in the region. “I cannot comment whether such reports are true or untrue,” he said.