The Central Bureau of Investigation has constituted a special team of five officers to investigate cases of alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur, PTI reported on Tuesday. The team was formed on the order of the Supreme Court.

On July 14, the apex court had ordered the CBI to constitute such a team that will examine records, file First Information Reports and complete the investigation by December 31. A bench of justices MB Lokur and UU Lalit had said, “It is not as if the dignity of only living persons needs to be respected, even the dignity of the dead must be given due respect.”

A case against the encounter killings was filed in the apex court by Extra Judicial Execution Victims Families Association, an organisation which claims it has the wives and relatives of killed individuals as members. The petitioners have alleged 1,528 extra-judicial killings by the Army and other security forces in Manipur. They also claimed that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act helped security personnel get away with the killings.

On April 20, the Army had told the apex court that it cannot be subjected to FIRs for carrying out anti-militancy operations in insurgency-prone areas like Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur. The Army claimed that the judicial investigations conducted into alleged extra-judicial killings were “biased” against the institution.