“If you go hunting, be ready to meet the tiger” – Human rights activist and scholar, Babloo Loitongbam

Babloo Loitongbam

Babloo Loitongbam is one of the most well known human rights activist in Manipur and the founder of one of the earliest human right organisations in Manipur, Human Rights Alert. In Bangalore to attend a two-day conference organized by the Alternative Law Forum, Babloo spoke to Bar & Bench about the “Pandora’s box” that is human rights, the quiet persistence of Irom Sharmila and why he is grateful he studied mathematics in school.

 

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Desmond Coutinho

August 19, 2013 - 11:05am

If Bubbles has AFSPA removed from all of Manipur not just Imphal I get what I want. Is not the disclosure of a conflict of interest required under Indian Law. I think the Supreme Court Commission is a good step especially if they recommend the removal of the AFSPA from more areas of Manipur where it makes no sense to keep it. And well done that man if he achieves that. The problem that other groups have referred to me is that they fear if the AFSPA is removed without dealing with the problem of the local predominantly Meitei police the reign of terror would continue. HRA has no funding apart from Manipur Police. Bubbles has travelled for the past 12 years first class and stays in five star hotels. [........]If this action actually pushes the removal of the AFSPA closer that's fine. But do you not think that the Supreme Court should have been made aware that the HRA run by the police kept the Loitongbam family out of the inquiry. If there were widespread operational and procedural faults, incompetent training, huge bribery in the intake of officers then surely the DG of the Imphal Police Commandoes should have given evidence to the Commission but HRA filtered the evidence admirable as it was wouldn't the conflict of interest be something that should be declared. But on your point that the Supreme Court commission next month will likely hold sway over the Union Home MInistry and Manipur State Defence team that's a good thing. And I am happy to laud and magnify Bubbles and his team for their sterling efforts. But the Santosh Hedge Commission did not name a few rotten apples in an otherwise excellent force. They claimed the problems were widespread endemic and that a fish stinks from the head down. Personally I think they should have been given the opportunity for example to discuss the reasonable idea of transferring senior echelon staff between NorthEastern States. Sometimes the argument is given that a Keralan police chief won't understand local issues. So if they had had an opportunity to gain input from the former DG Imphal Police Commandoes now DG Manipur Police. Tamo Bubbles' Uncle they might have been able to consider the effectiveness for example of transferring the senior staff of Nagaland IPS with the senior staff of the Manipur IPS including Bubbles' Uncle. I am more than happy for any who work for the betterment of Manipur India and the world. If you have been played for a fool then obviously it can be embarrassing to accept that. If you are part of a conspiracy to undermine the State then its unwise for you to be the only person to stick your neck above the parapet. It obviously would be helpful for Bubbles to release Sharmila for trial on 30th August but in the past he seems obstinate in his false claim that she and I have never met. I have no problem with gangsters in any other land I visit. If he didn't block her trial again then pressure increases upon forces of reasonableness to bring positive change to these areas. I have never disparaged Bubbles progress with the removal of the AFSPA for example lifting it from imphal in 2004 and now 9 years later taking Supreme Court action on specific cases to add to the pressure for change. It is his other conduct that is unhelpful. This is a long reply but the editors like to remove stuff so if I dont' give them something important they won't allow me to post anything. When I last visited Imphal police commandoes threatened to gang rape every reception staff I visited at any hotel. I asked them to file an FIR but then they crumbled. Bubbles says he has experience with helping Manipuris file FIRs would he be willing to assist the staff of the five hotels I stayed in during my last six day visit. And yes that was to have another meeting with Sharmila. There is a longer story about how Bubbles used his police and SIB contacts to prevent our first meeting but if I give the editors too much to cut out they just don't publish anything. Knock yourself out boys.

Your Name: 
Desmond Coutinho

(9)

Shamik Narain

August 17, 2013 - 3:59pm

I worked with Babloo and his associate Basanta in the Extra Judicial Executions case in the Supreme Court of India. One of the annexures to the writ petition was the publication by HRA enumerating the victims of extra judicial encounters. I was amazed with the in depth research conducted by HRA in coming up with the publication. I remember prior to one of the hearing dates Babloo and Basanta provided us further details and affidavits from family members of the victims. The details were so explicit that the SC had no other option left but to appoint the committee headed by Justice Hegde....which later concluded that all the six/seven cases referred to them were of fake encounters......This conclusion would not have been possible without the hard work of Babloo and his organization.

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Shamik Narain

(9)

Desmond Coutinho

August 15, 2013 - 5:51pm

Interesting story for Bubbles to make up. He claims his maths teacher paid the 2 million rupee bribe his family requires to join the police commandoes. Then he threatened to kill his boss' nephew with an AK 47 and the leading Human Rights activist did nothing. Didn't report him even though after 2004 AFSPA doesn't apply where his police officers function but as he says he takes bribes only from ruthless killers. What good would he have done for the raped Hmar women if indeed he gave a damn. But if you checked you'll the story you quote as quirky cannot be true. But then he can make up what he likes Tamo or Big Brother as he prefers to be known because of the slimy indian psychophants who do his bidding and whom he quite openly despises.

Your Name: 
Desmond Coutinho

(9)

Desmond Coutinho

August 16, 2013 - 7:45am

It is a pity that none care in India about background. Mr Loitongbam is the nephew of the current DG Manipur Police who goes by the name of Joykumar Singh. Bubbles' wife is also the natural born niece of the DG. In 2004 Bubbles used Sharmila's name to have AFSPA lifted from Imphal handing his family the franchise on law and order in Imphal with his uncle taking office as the DG Imphal Police Commandoes. The Santosh Hedge Commission report states that the Imphal Police Commandoes introduced a reign of terror in Imphal since then equal to the atrocities committed under the AFSPA outside of Imphal. He did filter evidence to teh commission all witnesses were probed by HRA first. But HRA has no funders aside from Manipur Police. You will not question Mr Loitongbam on any of his nefarious activities. It is similar to the Indian treatment of Sanjay Gandhi in his day. Bubbles is Manipur and Manipur is Bubbles. People say I have a personal gripe against him[..............] If you want confirmation Mr IK Muivah reported directly to me in font of a junior IPS officer in Imphal That the reason I was hated was they saw me as the one who would kill the goose laying them golden eggs and that Mr Loitongbam was the brains of the operation. But it would be nice if you allowed the truth to stand given you have the usual psychophants offering their statements of support to another great Indian man.

Your Name: 
Desmond Coutinho

(9)

Ashwin

August 14, 2013 - 8:06am

Very inspiring work! So rare to see such a great combination of Idealism and pragmatism. Thanks Mr. Babloo for giving hope where it is almost unbelievable to have it. Great job
B & B!

Your Name: 
Ashwin

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