AMSU demands probe by retired HC judge
IMPHAL, 18th Aug: Demanding that the enquiry into procedural lapses with regard to recommending a tainted policeman for the Chief Minister’s Medal for Gallantry, which was later withdrawn, should be headed by a person no less than a retired judge of the High Court, All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) has submitted a memorandum to Governor of Manipur Najma Heptulla on Tuesday.
In the memorandum, AMSU president Peter Laishram lauded the state government for its prompt action of withdrawing the gallantry award given to SI Bheishamayum Debson as he was earlier arrested in connection with a drug trafficking case. The Union also appreciated the government for constituting an enquiry committee to investigate the matter.
Making it clear that the enquiry should not be an eyewash covertly intended to sanctify the key decision makers by scapegoating few lower ranked personnel, Peter asserted that the student body see more to this episode than just a clerical mistake. Peter demanded that the enquiry panel should examine how terminated/suspended police personnel were reinstated into service and rose up to get a gallantry award.
AMSU has reliable reports of other police personnel listed in CM trophy for Anti-drug campaign and CM’s trophy for community service award who were also involved in drug haul cases and shielding of drug kingpins, Peter claimed.
Pointing out that such goof-up is not the first time in recommendation for gallantry awards, Peter said many police personnel involved in fake encounters were conferred gallantry awards in recent past. Subsequently many of them were charge-sheeted following the directive of Supreme Court of India as per the petition filed by the EEVFAM and other rights bodies. Thus, there is a need of transparency in the process of recommendations and selection of all the gallantry awardees and to place their citations in the public domain, he urged.
Peter stressed that there is the need to enquire if there is any connection between the doubtful processes in question with the drastic action of ADG police Arvind Kumar who shot himself immediately after chairing the meeting of the committee for recommending officers of the police department for awards. As such, the enquiry should also encompass all these critical issues and it should be headed by a person no less than a retired judge of the High court, he added.