IMPHAL : The star witness of the sensational July 23 Kwairamband Keithel fake encounter case, Teresa Rehman of the `Tahelka Magazine`, refused to reveal the identity of her sources citing security problem besides terming it unethical. Teresa Rehman, who filed the news reports of the July 23 incident along with a number of pictures as evidence, gave her statement before the court Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kamrup (Metro) Guwahati, D Thakuriaa on January 6 as prosecution witness number 66.
In her statement, she confirm to have filed the article `Murder in plain sight` appeared at the Tehelka Magazine (dated 8.08.09) about the murder of Sanjit by Manipur police commandos on July 23. She said that the article was written on the basis of the reports and photographs received on her e-mail ID adding that she did not know the person who took the photographs.
Rehman revealed that she collected the information to write the articles from various sources including Rakesh Meihoubam, the legal advisor of the mother of deceased Sanjit. According to her it was from Rakesh she came to know that the deceased Sanjit was a former member of the outlawed group. She further revealed that she was told that Sanjit was earlier arrested by the Police and got bail and was living as free man before he was killed in the sensational fake encounter case.
`I did not visit Imphal for the preparation of my article and I had not received any video footage of the incident,` claimed Rehman.
Soon after the receipt of the photographs through her e-mail ID she reportedly forwarded the same to her then editor in chief, Tarun Tejpal. Subsequently, she received instruction from Delhi office to go ahead and prepare the article. However, she clarified that she did not tamper with the photographs. She further maintained that she no longer has the photographs with her after forwarding the same to the Tehelka weekly magazine office, the photographs became the property of Tehelka Weekly Magazine.
`I am not ready to reveal the names of my source for fear their lives will be at risk and further it will be unethical on my part on revealed my sources`, said Rehman.
It may be recalled that Teresa Rehman was summoned to physically appear before the district and session Judge Manipur East. However, she was later granted permission on December 6 last to give her statement at a designated special court of CBI Guwahati by the concerned court following her plea to make the appearance in Guwahati citing security reason.
Meanwhile, the cross examination of witness of the case was also held today before the district and session Judge Manipur East. Advocate Rakesh Singh Meihoubam, the legal advisor of Sanjit`™s mother appeared before the court as prosecution (no.67). In his statement, the advocate revealed that he did not know Teresa Rehman before the BT road incident.
He came to know with Rehman through Babloo Loitongbam, a fellow activist, who told him that Rehman wanted to talk to her over phone. Meihoubam further revealed that he talked to Rehman twice after the death of Sanjit wherein she inquired about the status of Sanjit before his death. Accordingly, he mentioned that Sanjit was earlier arrested by Manipur police and was later released on bail but clarified that he was not the counsel in the criminal case involving the deceased.
He was approached by the deceased mother for filing a writ petition before the then Guwahati high court only after her son was killed. Subsequently, Meihoubam claimed that he filed the petition after receiving the copy of the magazine from Rehman who sent him a copy following his request.
साभार- Imphal Free Press