Last Updated on October 20, 2023 by SPN Editor
Imphal/ October 14, 2023 (SPN) | The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has apprehended a 22-year-old Paolunmang from Pune who is suspected to be the mastermind behind the case involving two missing Meitei students who were feared to have been murdered, as per official reports released on Friday.
The CBI initiated an extensive operation, employing informants and technical surveillance, which led to the identification of Paolunmang as the alleged mastermind behind the incident that triggered fresh rounds of protests in the state. After a rigorous search, the special investigation team discovered his location in Pune, Maharashtra.
Following his location discovery, he was taken into custody and transported to Guwahati. A designated court in Guwahati remanded him to CBI custody until October 16, where he will undergo questioning regarding the entire incident.
Additionally, the CBI is actively searching for any evidence related to the missing students’ mortal remains to confirm their unfortunate demise, given their disappearance.
The two Meitei students – Phijam Hemanjit, aged 20, and Hijam Linthoingambi, a 17-year-old girl, disappeared on July 6. Photos allegedly depicting their lifeless bodies surfaced on September 25, inciting violent protests, particularly led by students.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren pledged the government’s full support to the CBI’s investigation, ensuring that all individuals connected to the youths’ deaths would be apprehended.
Previously, on October 1, the CBI had arrested two men, Paominlun Haokip and Smalsawm Haokip, as well as two women, Lhingneichong Baite and Tinneilhing Henthang.
The cases of the missing students had initially been registered with Imphal Police on July 8 and Lamphel Police on July 19 based on the victims’ parents’ complaints. The CBI assumed control of these investigations on August 23.
With the viral dissemination of photos on September 25, CBI Director Praveen Sood dispatched a special team led by the agency’s Special Director Ajay Bhatnagar. This team arrived in Manipur on September 27 to oversee and facilitate the inquiry.
The state of Manipur witnessed ethnic clashes between Meitei and Chin Kuki community resulting in over 180 fatalities and several hundreds of injuries, which commenced on May 3.