Army jawan on leave abducted and murdered in Manipur

A Defence source says he was killed by a single bullet to the head and his son was the only eyewitness to the abduction

September 17, 2023 10:00 pm | Updated September 18, 2023 12:40 am IST - New Delhi

Serto Thangthang Kom, who was abducted and later killed by unidentified miscreants in Manipur. Photo: X/@Spearcorps

Serto Thangthang Kom, who was abducted and later killed by unidentified miscreants in Manipur. Photo: X/@Spearcorps

An Indian Army jawan was abducted and killed while he was on leave in Manipur.

A Defence source said that the body of Serto Thangthang Kom, 41, was found on September 17 morning at Khuningthek Village East of Mongjam under Sogolmang police station in Imphal East.

The jawan, belonging to Defence Service Corps, was posted at Leimakhong in hill district of Kangpokpi. He was abducted from his home in Tarung, Neikanlong, Happy Valley, Imphal West.

A Defence source said he was abducted around 10 a.m. on September 16, while being on leave. “As per the statement of his 10-year-old son, who was the only eyewitness to the crime. Three miscreants entered the home while they were working at the porch and placed a pistol on his father’s temple. The miscreants forced him in a white vehicle and drove away,” the source said.

There was no news of him till Sunday when his body was found around 9.30 a.m. at Khuningthek Village in Imphal East. His identity was confirmed by relatives who stated that the soldier had been murdered by a single bullet to his head. The postmortem report is awaited.

He is survived by his wife, daughter and son. 

The Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU), Kangpokpi said in a statement that he took voluntary retirement from the 8th Assam Regiment and was later re-engaged in the DSC at Leimakhong.

“It may be noted that Somiwon Kom, wife of Thangthang Kom, and the President of Kom Union had appealed to the abductors for his safe release, saying they would clarify even if he had committed any crime,” COTU said.

Army has rushed a team to assist the bereaved family in all manners possible.

A police official said no arrests have been made in the case yet.

Manipur Police said there have been reports of extortion threats, misuse of police uniform and impersonation by armed miscreants. Police has been making efforts to curb the same and during one such operation police arrested five persons with sophisticated weapons in camouflage uniform.

“In response to this arrest, large number of people came out to protest and tried to storm Porompat police station demanding the release of the arrested persons. Joint security forces repelled this attack by firing tear gas. In this, few persons received minor injury including an RAF personnel,” police statement said.

The five arrested persons were produced before Judicial Magistrate and they have been remanded into further police custody adding that strict legal action is being taken against the anti-social elements. The police appealed to the general public to refrain from such protest and co-operate with the law enforcement agencies in bringing peace and normalcy in the State.

In another incident, a mob tried to storm the Porompat police station in Imphal East on Saturday night to secure the release of armed suspects who had been arrested by police. Police fired shots to disperse the mob.

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