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Robber lynched, two held

- Mayang Imphal tense

Imphal, Aug. 12: Mayang Imphal neighbourhood in Imphal West was tense after a mob lynched a robber in the wee hours today and police arrested two accused involved in the attack.

The police said the mob caught Md Habib, 30, a resident of Irong Makha Leikai in Thoubal district, red-handed while he along with some of his friends were trying to loot a grocery shop at Chabung Company village, about 20km from Imphal in the early hours today.

The mob thrashed Habib, while his accomplices escaped. The injured Habib was later taken to a nearby private clinic by the police where he died of his injuries.

The police arrested two residents of Chabung Company this morning in connection with the attack. They have been identified as Lousangbam Santosh, 25, and Yumnam Khomei, 35. Santosh reportedly discovered the break-in attempt at the grocery shop and raised an alarm while Khomei reported the mob attack to Mayang Imphal police station.

Residents of Chabung Company said Habib and his accomplices first stole an LPG cylinder from a house of Chabung Company and later tried to rob the grocery shop, which is located near the house. The residents recovered the stolen cylinder near the grocery shop.

“Residents were awaken from their sleep after someone shouted ‘thieves, thieves’. While some of them escaped, the residents caught Habib and attacked him,” a resident said.

While Chabung Company is in Imphal West, Irong Makha Leikai is in Thoubal district. The two villages, separated by a river, are under Mayang Imphal police station in Imphal West.

Residents of Chabung Company are always on alert after cases of theft were frequently reported in the village. Unknown persons stole household articles like solar lamp panels, water pumps and poultry. As the cases of theft are regular in the village, the residents are angry, they said.

To protest the arrest of the duo, residents of Chabung Company blocked the Mayai Lambi road, which connects Imphal and Sugunu of Tho-ubal district from noon today.

Protesters did not allow vehicular traffic along the road. Police personnel came to Chabung Company on getting information of the road blockade. However, they did not make any attempt to reopen the road, sources said.

“The two arrested by the police are innocent. Nobody could identify those involved in the attack, as it was dark. The arrested men should be immediately released without any condition,” another resident demanded.

Residents of Chabung Company also demonstrated in front of Mayang Imphal police station demanding the release of the arrested duo.

The Imphal West district magistrate promulgated prohibitory orders under Section 144 Cr PC in Mayang Imphal indefinitely from 3 pm.