In a pivotal development addressing the alarming Manipur violence, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken substantial action by filing two separate charge sheets against five accused individuals. The cases in question are related to the disappearance and suspected killing of students, which sent shockwaves through the state in August 2023.
The incidents gained widespread attention when distressing images of the missing students emerged online, revealing their presence in a militant camp situated within an unidentified jungle. The revelations led to heightened concerns and raised questions about the safety and well-being of the students involved.
In one of the viral photographs, the minor students were seen accompanied by armed militants in army camouflage, raising concerns about their safety. Another disturbing image showed the lifeless bodies of the boy and girl lying on grass in the same location, reinforcing suspicions that they fell victim to the suspected Kuki militants. The lack of recovery of the students’ bodies has added to the anguish of their families and intensified public outcry.
The CBI initiated its investigation on August 23, 2023, responding to the Manipur government’s request and subsequently taking over the case initially registered at the Imphal police station. The complaint alleged the disappearance of a minor girl on July 6, 2023, accusing a minor boy of kidnapping her with the intention of forced marriage. The state government entrusted the case to the CBI for a thorough and impartial inquiry.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) apprehended the alleged mastermind, Paolunmang (22), on October 12 in Pune, Maharashtra, in connection with the Manipur missing students case. This arrest adds to the five individuals already nabbed by the premier investigative agency, underlining their relentless pursuit of justice. Earlier, on October 1, four suspects, including two women, were arrested in Kuki-Zo dominated Churachandpur – identified as S Malsawm, Boisawm, Paominlun Haokip, L Baite, and W Baite. These accused individuals were subsequently brought to Guwahati for further investigation.
The arrests come in the wake of the disappearance of Class 12 students, Hijam Luwangbi Chanu (17) and Phijam Hemanjit Singh (19), from Sagolband Tera area in Imphal West district since July 6. Luwangbi and Hemanjit, students of TG Higher Secondary School and Kindergarten Montessori School, respectively, have been missing, amplifying the urgency for a thorough investigation by the CBI.
Simultaneously, the father of the boy filed an FIR at Lamphel police station, Imphal West, reporting his son’s disappearance on July 6, 2023. Suspecting foul play, he raised concerns that his 17-year-old son might have been kidnapped. The CBI’s investigation into both interrelated cases revealed that on the fateful day, the boy picked up the minor girl from her tuition class, and they were subsequently intercepted and held captive by the accused.
The accused forcibly transported the victims to an undisclosed location, where they are suspected to have been killed. Four individuals were arrested during the investigation and are presently in judicial custody. The developments underscore the urgency of addressing the Manipur violence cases and providing justice for the affected families, as the CBI continues its efforts to uncover the truth behind this tragic incident