Manipur violence: CBI takes over 27 FIRs, including 19 related to crime against women

New Delhi: Around 100 officials are working on ground to conclude investigation

BY and | Wednesday, 30 August, 2023

The CBI has taken over the investigation in 27 FIRs lodged in connection with ethnic clashes in Manipur that have claimed more than 160 lives in nearly four months, officials said.

According to the latest data, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has so far registered 27 cases handed over to it by the state police — 19 cases of crime against women, three related to an armoury loot by a mob, two of murder and one each of rioting and murder, kidnapping and general criminal conspiracy — sources aware of the developments said.

The agency has re-registered these cases, but has not made the details public because of the sensitive nature of the situation prevailing in the northeastern state, they said.

CBI teams have started questioning the suspects and victims after visiting the crime sites, the sources added.

The investigation gained momentum after the CBI top brass mobilised a team of 53 officers, including 29 women, drawn from various units of the federal agency across the country to probe the cases, they said.

The CBI has deployed another lot of 30 officers for probing cases in Manipur, giving further boost to the manpower involved in investigating the cases of violence cases, the sources said.

Around 100 officials of the agency are working on the ground to conclude the investigation in the 27 cases.

With the society in Manipur divided on ethnic lines, the CBI is facing the critical task of avoiding allegations of bias during the operation as any involvement of people from one community will result in fingers pointed from the other side, the sources said.

The Supreme Court has already ordered a transfer of the CBI cases related to the Manipur violence to Assam.

The sources said several of these cases being probed by the CBI may attract provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, which can be investigated by an officer of the rank of deputy superintendent of police.

Since deputy SPs cannot be supervisory officers in such cases, the agency has mobilised one of its SP-ranked officers to monitor the investigation, they said.

The team that also includes at least three DIGs will report to a joint director who is supervising the overall probe, the sources said.

It is understood to be a first-of-its-kind mobilisation where such a large number of women officers have been simultaneously pressed into service, they added.

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