TODAY -

Five village volunteers secure bail, NIA nets one
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, September 22 2023: District and Sessions Judge, Imphal West on Friday released on bail bond the five village volunteers who were arrested by police on September 16 even as the National Investigation Agency (NIA) rearrested one of the five in connection with a NIA case.

The five village volunteers namely, Moirangthem Anand Singh (45), son of Achou of Singjamei Sorokhaibam Leikai; Athokpam Kajit alias Kishorjit (39), son of Dhananjoy of Kongba Nongthombam Leikai; Loukrakpam Michael Mangangcha alias Tolamu (30), son of late Iboton of Khurai Ahongei; Konthoujam Romojit (28) son of Meghajit of Sagolband Sayang; and Keisham Johnson (35) son of late Ibomcha of Singjamei Sorokhaibam Leikai were produced before the court on Friday.

As per report submitted by the investigating officer, the five were travelling in a white colour Bolero when police intercepted them at a mobile check post set up near Meetei Mayek High School, Kongba-Wangkhei road on September 16 .

Upon stopping them, police found the five clad in camouflage in possession of one INSAS Rifle with 78 live rounds & four magazines, one SLR Rifle with 50 live rounds & three magazines, two .303 Rifles with five live rounds & two magazines.

After hearing counsels of both sides, the court observed that the IO could not prove any terror activities committed by the five, and also any activities for which they could be booked under UAPA Section 16 and IPC Section 121-A.The court then released the five persons on PR bond of Rs 50,000 each along with a surety bond of the same amount.

The court also directed the five accused to cooperate fully with the investigation, refrain from intimidating or influencing witnesses, not to leave the state without the approval of the court, and to present before the IO of the case every 15 days.

As one of the accused, L Michael Mangangcha could not provide the surety bond, the court allowed his release on a surety bond of an advocate to allow the former arrange the surety bond within 25 days.

The court then rejected the remand prayer and granted approval to the bail application.

Later, while legal formalities for re leasing the five were in process, a team of NIA showed up at Imphal police station and arrested Moirangthem Anand Singh in connection with an earlier case it had registered.

Meanwhile, the remaining four accused have been released and handed over to their family members after completing the formalities.

After the court's verdict, large number of people converged near Imphal police station forcing the police to use stunt grenades to disperse them consequently leading to a woman getting hurt.

The injured woman identified as Keisham Monika (29) wife of K Johny of Kakwa was rushed to JNIMS hospital for treatment.

On learning that the five village defence volunteers would be produced before the court, people mainly women gathered outside the Cheirap court complex, here, from early morning and started to raise slogans demanding unconditional release of all the five.

Teams of state police and RAF personnel were also deployed at the court complex to prevent unwanted incident.

At about 11am, more protestors gathered but none of them were allowed to enter the court complex.

In view of the emerging situation outside the court complex, all the arrested five village defence volunteers were produced before the court of special judge (NIA) Imphal East through video conferencing.

Amidst the court proceeding, protestors sat on the road outside the court complex and awaited judgment.

Soon after getting the order for release of all the five village defence volunteers on bail, all the protestors left the court complex but half of the protestors proceeded towards Porompat police station and another half to Imphal police station to receive the volunteers.

However, police lobbed two stunt bombs to disperse the protestors gathered outside Imphal PS and Monika got hurt in the police action.

Meanwhile, after learning that one out of the five volunteers granted bail on Friday had been arrested by NIA, a large number of protestors burnt tyres and blockaded part of the Tiddim road at Keishampat sector with tree branches from around 7 pm.

Security forces fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowd, but the protests continued till late evening.

However, there is no report of any injury at the time of filing this report.


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