Lieutenant Colonel Dharamvir Singh (left) was allegedly arrested from his home in Imphal
An army officer posted in Manipur has told a court that his and family’s lives are at danger because he had flagged fake encounters and extortions by a unit of the army’s intelligence surveillance wing in the northeast. Army sources said the matter is sub-judice and an affidavit has already been submitted in court on the issue.
On July 1, Lieutenant Colonel Dharamvir Singh was allegedly arrested from his home in Imphal by armed jawans in the presence of two officers. After his wife Ranju Singh filed a complaint with the police, the Colonel surfaced in Dimapur on July 5.
In an affidavit filed at a court in Imphal on July 20, the 52-year-old officer said in September 2016, he had written a letter to senior officers,complaining about the extortions and fake killings by the army’s intelligence surveillance unit. The officers, he said, promised action against the guilty, but he was pressured into withdrawing the letter.
His arrest, he alleged was part of a “vindictive approach” by some officers and an “organized campaign” to harass him.
In his affidavit, the Colonel also listed at least three incidents, which, he said, were instances of fake encounters. The dates given were March 10, 2010, February 5, 2010, and August 19, 2011.
Sources in the army indicated that there was no truth in the account of the officer’s arrest. The officer, they indicated, was disaffected about his posting.
The sources also said allegations of these fake encounters had come up before the Gauhati High Court, but the court found no truth in them.
Babloo Loithingbam, an Imphal-based humans rights activist, said, “I had an opportunity to have a look at the affidavit it seems quite coherent. it fits into many of the independent monitoring that we have been doing so I think there is merit that requires proper examination of what Col Dharamvir is putting in his affidavit.”
“The army had denied the arrest initially. But Mrs Dharmvir Singh pursued the matter in court and the affidavit is now sure to raise many uncomfortable questions for the army,” he said.