Four Detained in Manipur for the Homicides of 2 Meitei Students, Transferred to Assam

Four Detained in Manipur for the Homicides of 2 Meitei Students, Transferred to Assam

Imphal - In an announcement regarding the apprehension of four individuals by the CBI in connection with the alleged murder of two Imphal residents, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh revealed on Sunday that the accused had been transported to Guwahati via a special flight.

This announcement led to protests by Kuki-Zomi organizations, which characterized the arrests as "abduction." The Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum declared an indefinite shutdown, commencing at 10 am on Monday.

Hijam Linthoingami (17) and Phijam Hemjit (20), both Meiteis, disappeared on July 6 this year. On September 25, photos of their deceased bodies emerged, triggering violent protests.

The four individuals who have been detained are all Kukis. A CBI spokesperson stated, "We have arrested four persons identified as Paominlun Haokip, S Malsawn Haokip, Lhingneichong Baite, and Tinneilhing Henthang. CBI had registered two cases on August 23 on the request of the Manipur government and took over the investigation of these cases earlier registered by the State police on the complaints of parents of the minor victim. During the investigation of these cases, four persons have been arrested."

"The arrested accused will be produced before the competent court in Guwahati. Two minor children, who accompanied one of the arrested accused (who is their mother) during transit from Imphal to Guwahati, have been handed over to the district child protection officer, Kamrup, for their welfare, protection, and care. No legal action has been taken against the minors," the spokesperson added.

Earlier in the day, while briefing the media about the arrests, the Chief Minister mentioned that the accused were apprehended in a joint operation by the CBI and a team of state and Central forces in the Henglep area of Churachandpur district.

"Since violence has erupted across the valley district, a team led by CBI special director, with the help of state and Central forces, has been conducting a series of operations to apprehend the culprits. The State is committed to leaving no stone unturned in tracking down others who may be involved in the students' killings and ensuring that all receive fitting punishment," he stated.

Meanwhile, Kuki-Zomi organizations demanded the release of all those arrested within 48 hours. They issued a threat of a "more intense agitation" in "all hill districts of Manipur" if the accused are not released.

The Joint Students' Body, a federation of various Kuki-Zomi student organizations, claimed that the accused had been "abducted" from the area between Kangvai and Molhoi villages while they were en route to Churachandpur on Sunday morning.

They warned that in the future, any armed individual moving about in plainclothes will be stopped and action taken against them. They also called on the public to take action if they encounter individuals in plainclothes acting suspiciously.

The organizations expressed frustration at what they perceived as the selective targeting of Kuki-Zomi-Mizo people in police investigations, and they vowed to oppose the biased handling of police cases involving their community while other cases of serious crimes against their people remained unresolved.

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