Imphal, October 1
In a breakthrough, the CBI on Sunday arrested four persons allegedly involved in the murder of two students whose deaths have thrown the Imphal valley into a fresh turmoil.
Briefing the media here, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh thanked the Central Government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the arrests. He said the Special Director of the CBI had been camping in Manipur for supervising the investigation into the case.
The CM said the arrests were made in a coordinated operation by the Central forces, including the Army and the Assam Rifles, and the state police.
Seventeen-year-old girl Hijam Linthoingambi and 18-year-old Phijam Hemanjit went missing in July. They were last seen driving towards Bishenpur on Hemanjit’s motorcycle. Their photographs, one purportedly taken moments before their murder, and another of their bodies, surfaced on the social media on September 25 and soon went viral.
The pictures triggered fresh protests, spearheaded by students. They demanded action against Kuki militants who purportedly kidnapped and then killed the two Meitei students. While residences of ministers, including the ancestral house of the CM, have been attacked by protesters earlier to seek action against the culprits, today sit-in demonstrations were orgainsed on streets of Imphal to protest the killings.
The CM said the accused were arrested from an area under the Henglep Assembly constituency in Churachandpur district. Churachandpur is a stronghold of the Kukis. Meiteis of the district have mostly left their houses in the wake of ethnic clashes that started in May.
Biren Singh said Seiminlun Gangte, allegedly a Kuki militant, had been arrested by the NIA on the charges of waging war against India.
When asked whether Article 355 (to ensure that state government functions in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution) had been invoked in Manipur, Biren said it had not been officially notified yet.
2 women among those nabbed
The four suspects arrested on Sunday have been identified as Paominlun Haokip, S Malsawan Haokip, Lhingneichol G Baite and Tinnuphing. The last two are women.
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