Manipur police register ‘Zero FIRs’ over killings of two Kuki-Zo men

Complaints accused members of Arambai Tenggol for the attacks on the village volunteers

Updated - April 15, 2024 02:22 am IST

Published - April 15, 2024 01:05 am IST - New Delhi

Representational image of security personnel in Imphal, Manipur, standing guard during a protest rally

Representational image of security personnel in Imphal, Manipur, standing guard during a protest rally | Photo Credit: PTI

The Manipur police have now registered two First Information Reports (FIRs) over the killings of two Kuki-Zo village volunteers on Saturday, following which their bodies were allegedly mutilated, as per videos circulating on social media. A police source said Zero FIRs were registered at the Kangpokpi police station on Sunday.

The cases were registered based on complaints from family members of the two deceased, who were identified as Kamminlal Lupheng (23) of K. Sajag village in Kangpokpi district and Kamlensat Lunkim (25) of Bongjang village in the same district.

According to the complaints filed by the older brothers of the deceased, the mortal remains of their younger brothers were yet to be returned to them. A police source confirmed that the bodies of the men were yet to be returned to the families and that the Imphal East police were working on it.

They added that a vehicle carrying the bodies of the deceased was allegedly attacked by a mob.

ALSO READ | After fresh killings, Kuki-Zo people in Churachandpur, Kangpokpi take to streets

The complaints over the incident accused members of Arambai Tenggol for the attacks on the “village volunteers” and cases have been registered under Section 16 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Section 3 of the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, and relevant Sections of the Indian Penal Code for murder, criminal conspiracy, rioting, criminal intimidation, and connected offences. The police have also invoked Sections of the Arms Act in the FIRs.

Forum’s plea

The Manipur Tribals Forum, Delhi (MTFD) on Sunday also wrote to Datta Padsalgikar, DGP (retired), the officer appointed by the Supreme Court to chair the committee for investigation and prosecution of offences related to the ethnic conflict in the State that began on May 3 last year.

In their letter, the MTFD said that after killing Mr. Lupheng and Mr. Lunkim “their feet were tied with ropes and they were dragged down the hillside. Then the videos show that their arms and limbs were hacked into pieces with a machete and paraded” all of which could be seen in videos that had gone viral on social media.

The MTFD letters added, “From May last year we have been pleading with the police and the judiciary to save our community but it is clear that nobody will take any steps to save our lives. The elections are supposed to start in four days’ time. These killings are a warning to our community that should we participate in elections our lives will be in danger.”

Two-phase polls

Manipur is set to vote in two phases on April 19 and April 26. Inner Manipur and parts of Outer Manipur that comprise hill districts such as Kangpokpi and Churachandpur are scheduled to vote in the first phases while the rest of Outer Manipur is set to vote in the second phase.

This latest spate of violence comes after a lull of over a month in the ongoing conflict, which has so far killed over 220 people, injured thousands of others, and internally displaced tens of thousands.

The killings have led to widespread protests across Churachandpur, Kangpokpi and in New Delhi as well. Several tribal bodies have issued statements, some calling for a shutdown in Kangpokpi, others calling for a candle-light vigil in Churachandpur.

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