The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing six cases related to violence in Manipur, has not made any arrest so far, said an agency official on July 28.
Denying reports in a section of the media about 10 arrests, the official said no such action had been taken by the agency yet and that the investigation was still under way. “Also, we have not taken into our custody anyone arrested by the State Police so far,” the official said.
In June, the agency had taken over the cases on a reference from the State government, after Union Home Minister Amit Shah had announced that the CBI would investigate the cases. Subsequently, a special investigation team headed by a Deputy Inspector-General level official was formed.
Accompanied by forensic experts, the agency officials visited multiple places in Manipur to gather evidence and record statements of those associated with the offences, which includes the loot of arms and ammunition.
Five of the cases are related to alleged criminal conspiracy, while one pertains to general conspiracy behind the violence.
The Centre has now asked the CBI to also take over the May 4 sexual violence incident in the Thoubal district of Manipur, where three women were stripped and paraded naked. One of the victims was also allegedly raped. In its affidavit in the Supreme Court, the government termed the incident “unfortunate and unacceptable”, stating that justice should be seen to be done in such a heinous offence. The Manipur Police have arrested six accused in the sexual assault case.
After the violence between the Kuki and Meitei communities erupted on May 3, over 140 people have lost their lives and more than 54,000 displaced. About 4,000 weapons and lakhs of live rounds have been looted from police armouries, while the authorities have been able to recover just over 1,600 weapons so far.