The Telegraph
Tuesday , February 5 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rape cloud on 8-year-old’s murder

Imphal, Feb. 4: A forensic expert testified before the court of sessions judge, Manipur East, that eight-year-old Lungnila Elizabeth could have been raped before she died in 2003. Shock resulting from genital injuries could have been the cause of the girl’s death, he added.

The court of sessions judge M. Manojkumar Singh is holding the trial of the case of abduction and murder of Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Ngajokpa, who was then minister for taxation and general administration and is now rural development and panchayati raj minister. The CBI submitted its chargesheet in the case on January 3, 2008.

Unidentified persons abducted Elizabeth from the gate of Little Flower School here on November 4, 2003. Her highly decomposed body was found inside a gunny bag at Sadokpam village not very far from her school on November 12.

She was abducted for a ransom demand of Rs 15 lakh.

The CBI’s special crime branch, Calcutta examined 74 witnesses, including Francis, in the course of the investigation.

The CBI arrested James Kuki from Dimapur who had fled Manipur after the crime and three other accused in the case.

Immediately after the girl’s abduction, a ransom call was made to Francis’s residence, police said.

The CBI in its chargesheet named Thokchom Nando, alias Nanao, 25, Ningombam Rome Meitei, 35, Okram Deben, alias Arnold, 28, and Letkhosei Haokip, alias James Kuki, 34, as the accused in the abduction and murder. Of the four, Arnold died in jail, Rome is out on bail while Nando and Haokip are still in jail.

The chargesheet said the kidnappers had demanded Rs 15 lakh from the girl’s parents but they “tortured and killed” her even after taking Rs 10 lakh in two installments as ransom money.

Retired director of the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) L. Fimate during his cross-examination in the court of sessions judge, Manipur East on January 28, said: “Cause of death, in my opinion, was shock resulting from vaginal injuries produced by blunt force which was homicidal in nature.”

Not ruling out rape, Fimate said there were vaginal injuries and also gave his opinion on possibility of the injuries caused by insertion of rod or stick like object. He did not rule out the possibility of the injuries because of forceful penile thrust.

Fimate was the head of department of forensic medicine department of RIMS when the post-mortem was conducted at the mortuary of the institute. He conducted the post-mortem on the day the body was recovered.

Fimate said there were several bruises on the girl’s legs.

He was the 27th of 74 witnesses listed in the CBI chargesheet.

The next hearing will be held on February 18.

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