A 21-year-old youth, Shyamananda Ningthoujam of New Keithelmanbi who tried to rape his cousin on Monday night murdered her at Moidangpok in Imphal West district. Irate villagers lynched him within a few hours.

Police sources said that at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Shyamananda wanted to borrow Rs. 500 from his cousin Chaoba Ningthoujam for public gambling held ubiquitously in Manipur on the occasion of Diwali. She refused to pay. The angry cousin snatched her mobile intending to sell it. The girl went out in search of him to collect the mobile handset.

When the girl failed to return home residents launched a search. Around 8:30 p.m. they found the half naked dead body of the 21-year-old girl at a paddy field. The residents went to the house of the cousin and frog marched him to the place where the dead body was still there. Initially he denied any knowledge. But there were scratch marks on his face and chest suggesting that the girl had tried to escape from the place.

After intense interrogation lasting several hours the boy eventually confessed to his crime. He said that he tried to rape her. When the struggling girl foiled the attempt he smothered her to death fearing that she would disclose the incident. At 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday the residents lynched him. Police have taken both the dead bodies for post mortem.

Meanwhile the dead body of a contractor Meghachandra of Lilong Chajing in Imphal west was fished out of the Imphal river on Tuesday morning. The dead body bore knife and bullet wounds. His mobile handset and Rs. 30,000 in cash were recovered. Police believe that he might have been killed when he refused to fork out a huge amount as illegal tax. No arrest has been made.