In a significant breakthrough in the investigation surrounding the murder of a Meitei couple during the Kuki versus Meitei violence in Manipur, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Manipur Police jointly apprehended six individuals, including two minors. The brutal killing of the young lovers had stirred fresh unrest in the northeastern state.
The victims, a 17-year-old girl and a 20-year-old man, were hacked to death while they were attempting to flee amid the violence that had gripped Manipur. The incident had initially gone under the radar due to an internet ban in the region. However, a recently surfaced photo of the victims rekindled outrage and brought the case back into the spotlight.
The ill-fated couple had eloped on July 6, seeking refuge from the escalating violence. Tragically, they found themselves trapped in a Kuki area, where they met a gruesome fate. The internet ban, in effect at the time, prevented the immediate dissemination of information.
Sharing the news of the arrests, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh expressed his satisfaction with the progress in the case. He stated, “I’m pleased to share that some of the main culprits responsible for the abduction and murder of Phijam Hemanjit and Hijam Linthoingambi have been arrested from Churachandpur today.”
The chief minister further emphasized the government’s commitment to ensuring justice for the victims. He pledged, “As the saying goes, one may abscond after committing the crime, but they cannot escape the long hands of the law. We are committed to ensuring maximum punishment, including capital punishment, for the heinous crime they have committed.”
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had dispatched a Special Director of CBI and senior officers to Manipur to aid in the investigation. The successful apprehension of four suspects in Churachandpur was lauded by Chief Minister N Biren Singh, who expressed gratitude to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), CBI, and all central forces involved.
However, the recent developments reignited protests in Manipur, with a significant number of students clashing with the police. In the wake of the Meitei couple’s murder, Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s ancestral home also came under attack. Consequently, the state government extended the suspension of mobile internet services until October 1, and schools were closed until September 29. The internet ban has since been further extended until October 6.
The tragic incident occurred on July 6, approximately two months after violence had erupted in Manipur in May. The couple, in their desperate attempt to escape the turmoil, was abducted by armed Kuki militants passing through their village. They were transported to an undisclosed location and subsequently executed, as reported by the Manipur Police.
The police report also indicated that a group of Kuki village volunteers in Joupi village had initially requested the couple to return to their own area before their abduction.
The case continues to garner significant attention and raises questions about the broader issue of violence and communal tensions in Manipur.
Sources By Agencies