New Delhi: The Supreme Court today ordered the Centre to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the mother of Thangjam Manorama, a woman shot brutally to death by soldiers of the 17 Assam Rifles in 2004.
The NHRC has also recommended that Rs 10 lakh be paid to the family of Manorama.
The death of the 34-year-old woman was followed by vociferous protests in the state that went on for months.
The court's order comes after the state government submitted the judicial inquiry report in the case to the Supreme Court. The report had been submitted to the state in 2004, but it had never been made public.
The judicial commission was set up by the Manipur government following protests over Manorama's death. But in 2011, the Centre had challenged it in court, saying states have no such power. In course of the hearing, the Supreme Court had asked for the report.
Today, the Centre told court that it was ready to pay compensation and the case could be closed. The court refused to close the case, saying it was important to decide who has the powers to set up commission of inquiry. The hearings will continue but the court has asked the Centre to pay the compensation meanwhile.
The report by Upendra Singh, retired District and Sessions Judge, Manipur, who was Chairman of the Commission, said on the night of July 10, 2004, "a strong-armed troops of 17 Assam Rifles" had taken away Manorama from her home in Imphal East District. She was found dead with multiple gunshot injuries on her private parts and thighs hardly 2 km from a police station.
"Not a single one of the 16 bullets fired at Manorama had hit her legs," it said. Most of the injuries reveal that she was shot when "helpless". Some injuries suggest sexual assault too, the report said.
The report also added that the authorities' version that Manorama was shot when she tried to escape was a "lie". According to the First Information Report, or FIR, the 17 Assam Rifles had claimed she led them to a cache of arms. When she tried to flee, she was shot in the legs and bled to death.