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Mystery over Babysana’s death: JAC welcomes Imphal West CJM order rejecting CBI’s final report

JAC convenor Laishram Gyaneshwori (middle) addressing media persons

JAC convenor Laishram Gyaneshwori said that people had high expectations but CBI submitted an incomplete and dubious final report on March 3, 2021 to the CJM, Imphal West

TFM Desk

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) formed in connection with the death of Ningthoujam Babysana Chanu in 2019, on Thursday announced that the JAC will move the Supreme Court after the final report of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday. 

Addressing media persons at the residence of Babysana, JAC co-convenor Sapam Shubhankar urged the people of the state to continue supporting the JAC, while welcoming the verdict chief judicial magistrate of Imphal West rejecting the CBI report. 

The Imphal West CJM rejected the closure report of the case submitted by the CBI and returned it for further investigation. 

The court directed the investigating officer of the case to find out the blood group of the deceased, N Babysana Chanu and to complete her DNA profile by using samples obtained from her. It directed to find out the matching blood group and the DNA profile, if any, either of the deceased or the accused persons.

The court also directed to find out the blood group of her biological father and mother by collecting their blood samples as well as find out the blood group of all the accused persons and complete their DNA profiles for further investigation.

Speaking at the press conference, JAC convenor Laishram Gyaneshwori said that people had high expectations from CBI, but they submitted an incomplete and dubious final report on March 3, 2021 to CJM, Imphal West. 

Asserting that the previous CBI officers and investigating officer should not be part of the new or further investigation, she said that there must be some honest and dutiful officers in the CBI and such officers should lead the new Investigating. 

Accusing the previous investigating officer of not collecting statements from individuals with a zeal to find out the truth about the death, she maintained that the agency should use sophisticated techniques at their disposal this time. 

The CBI had also wrongly submitted information about the “illegal” boarding centre where the death occurred, in contrast to the report submitted by the Singjamei Police Station and SIT, she alleged. 

“Let justice be done to Babysana. And let the case be the last of such cases in the state,” she appealed.  

The objection by the father of the deceased, Ningthoujam Tomchou Singh, to the final report was also taken up for consideration. On application of objection to the final report, the father of the deceased stated that his daughter was found murdered at the accused Ph Landhoni’s illegally run boarding at Canchipur, Imphal. An FIR No. 138(7)2019 SJM PS was lodged against the accused persons and the Manipur Police had made prior police investigations and they had definitely proved that the said accused had run the boarding illegally by not registering under JJ Act as such section 420 of IPC and violation of JJ Act, he stated.  

Ningthoujam Babysana Chanu (14) of Thangmeiband Maisnam Leikai, then reading in Class VII at Standard Robarth Higher Secondary School was found hanged to death under suspicious circumstances inside a hostel of the same school in the morning of July 18, 2019.

The suspicious death sparked widespread protest in the state. 

The case was first handled by Singjamei police station after which it was transferred to a special investigation team constituted at the behest of the state government.

Later, the case was taken over by CBI, SCB, Kolkata in November 2019 in accordance with an order issued by the High Court of Manipur. 

The CBI had formally agreed to take up the case on December 6, 2019 and a compliance report towards this was submitted before the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate on the same date.

Acting on the directive of the High Court of Manipur on November 6, 2019 to investigate the case, a three member team from CBI, Special Crime Branch, Kolkata was constituted under CR Das, DSP, CBI (SCB), Kolkata and a regular case was registered under Section 305/34 IPC and 75 Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.

The accused persons named in the case are Nongmaithem Jinnty (26), Kamei Ileen (54), Pheiroijam Robinson Singh alias Boicha (34), Pheiroijam (O) Longjam (N) Landhoni Devi (65) and Pheiroijam (N) Karam (O) Romita Devi (41). They were earlier arrested by Singjamei Police and a Special Investigation Team constituted in connection with the death. 

The final report of the CBI states that the charge sheet could not be filed against the accused persons due to lack of evidence during investigation. Report states that no evidence to prove that the accused persons were part of a common intention to murder, or abetment of suicide of Babysana Chanu or were cruel to the child (Babysana) or had cheated any person could be establish.

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