TODAY -

Four arrested, two detained for killing Linthoingambi, Hemanjit
Source: The Sangai Express / DIPR

Imphal/N Delhi, October 01 2023: Four people have been arrested and two have been detained by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the horrific murder case of two students in Manipur in July, whose photo surfaced on social media last week.

The four include two men and two women, apart from the two girls who have been detained in the State capital Imphal.

The four have been flown to Guwahati in Assam.

The accused have been identified as Paominlun Haokip, Malsawn Haokip, Lhingneichong Baite and Tinneikhol people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

A crack unit of the Manipur Police and the Indian Army in a joint operation captured the suspects from the hill district of Churachandpur, 51 kms from Imphal, where ethnic violence began on May 3.Several Kuki insurgent groups that have signed the tripartite Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement are based in this hill district.

After catching them, the forces drove swiftly to the airport, where a CBI team was waiting for them.

The CBI team and the suspects took the last flight out of Imphal around 5.45 pm.

Sources said some people tried to move towards the airport on hearing about the arrests.

The one hour till the time the plane took off was "full of tension" as the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) guarding the airport was informed about possible trouble, people with direct knowledge of the matter told NDTV, requesting anonymity.

Nothing untoward happened, fortunately, they said.

"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," Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

"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 Chura-chandpur today" .

Mr Singh told reporters today that terrorists from Myanmar and Bangladesh have joined hands with some Kuki insurgent groups to exploit the Manipur crisis, and the ongoing violence is between the terrorists and the State.

Yesterday, a terror suspect was arrested from Churachandpur by the National Investigation Agency in a transnational conspiracy case involving terrorist leaders in Bangladesh and Myanmar.

The photos showing the bodies of the two students who went missing in July emerged on social media on September 26, after which the Manipur Government assured swift action.

The CBI has been looking into this case already, though the bodies of the two students - both minors - are yet to be found.

Investigators are also looking into allegations of rape before the minor was murdered, sources told NDTV.

The photos show the two students - both 17 years old - sitting at the grassy compound of what appears to be a makeshift jungle camp of an armed group.

The Manipur Police last month appointed a former army special forces soldier to oversee combat operations.

A reliable source informed The Sangai Express that the arrested belong to the KNF (Zougam), a SoO signatory.

Ethnic violence between the hill-majority Kuki tribes and the valley-majority Meiteis began on May 3, following a protest by the Kukis over the Meiteis' demand for Scheduled Tribes (ST) status.

Over 180 have died and thousands have been internally displaced.

NDTV.

Addressing the media later in the day today, Chief Minister N Biren said that six accused in the murder of the two young students have been arrested by the CBI.

The Chief Minister said that four of the arrested persons are from Henglep and identified them as Paominlun Haokip, S Malsawn Haokip, Lhingneichong Baite and Tinneikhol.

The names of two others have been withheld as they are still minors.

Speaking to the media, Chief Minister N Biren has asserted that the current crisis in Manipur is not a clash between ethnic groups nor a law and order issue of the State, but purely a war against the Indian Union by Myanmar and Bangladesh based Kuki militants in collaboration with militant groups operating in Manipur.

Continuing that the current crisis was instigated by a group of people who want to disintegrate the State although they are trying to portray it as ethnic or communal clash, and a religious conflict, and between majority and minority, the real picture has emerged, he added.

In connection with the arrest of one accused of the Kwakta bomb blast case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) issued a statement.

It says "The NIA on Saturday arrested one Seiminlun Gangte in a case related to transnational conspiracy by Myanmar and Bangladesh based leadership of terrorist outfits to wage war against the Government of India by exploiting the current ethnic strife in Manipur.

This has put to rest all the confusion and speculations.

It is now very clear that from now on the Government of India and the Government of Manipur will fight those people who are waging war against the Government of India, the Chief Minister stated.

Recalling the statements made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Parliament and by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Manipur violence, Biren said that the Central Government will take up further necessary measures to tackle it.

Now the Government of India knows very well that the Manipur crisis is not an ethnic conflict nor a pure law and order problem but it is a war waged against the Indian Union, he said before appealing to all the people to control emotions and calm down.

N Biren also informed that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested four persons from Henglep, Churachandpur district in connection with the brutal killing of Phijam Hemanjit and Hijam Linthoingambi, namely Paominlun Haokip, S Malsawn Haokip, Lhingnei-chong Baite and Tinnu- phing/Tinneikhol.

The CBI was roped in to investigate the case of the two students, after their pictures went viral on the social media a few days back.

He lauded the swift action taken by the CBI team including Army, Paramilitary forces and the State Police and arresting the culprits involved in the heinous crime in a short period of time.

He reiterated the firm stance of the State Government to make sure that the culprits are given stringent punishment as per law.

Raising concern on disturbances caused to State Police personnel by the public for their act in controlling mobs, the Chief Minister reminded that State forces including Manipur Police, IRB and Manipur Rifles were the ones fighting in the frontline against armed miscreants in the peripheral areas.

Many personnel of the State force were killed and many got injured, he stated and appealed to the public not to see the State forces in the wrong light.

Biren further appealed to the public to obey the rule of law like seeking permission from concerned Deputy Commissioners while carrying out protests and rallies.

"Misunderstanding and confrontation between protesters and security forces could be avoided, if we follow rules", Biren said.

He also appealed to all the people not to upload/circulate abusive and filthy words/statements in social media.

He further appealed to the media fraternity not to publish unconfirmed reports.

The Chief Minister also condoled the demise of Ima Memchoubi, President of Poirei Leimarol Meira Paibi Apunba Lup today, stating that her death is a big loss for the people of Manipur.

MAHUD Minister Yumnam Khemchand, Works Minister Govindas Konthoujam, Water Resources Minister Awangbow Newmai, Public Health Engineering Minister Leishangthem Susindro, Transport Minister Khasim Vashum, MLA of Thangmeiband AC Khumukcham Joykisan, MLA of Wabagai AC Dr Usham Deven, MLA of Andro AC Thounaojam Shyamkumar and MLA of Moirang AC Thongam Shanti also attended the press briefing.

(With inputs from NDTV ) .


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