The CBI has filed a chargesheet against nine accused, purportedly in the brutal murder of a 55-year-old Naga woman in Manipur on July 15.
The killing, captured in a video that went viral early in August, had evoked widespread concern and tension since the Naga community had remained neutral amid the continuing violence between Meiteis and the Kuki-Zo since May 3.
The slain woman’s family is believed to have seen the video on July 23 but it was widely circulated only on August 4. The 1.31-minute video purportedly shows M. Lucy Maring, 55, being shot at least 20 times from what sounds like an automatic rifle till nothing is left of her head.
A CBI statement on Saturday said the agency had filed the chargesheet before the special CBI judge in Guwahati, Assam.
It did not name the dead or share details of the case except saying the chargesheet had been filed “in an ongoing investigation of a case”. However, the date and site of the murder that it mentioned coincided with Lucy’s killing.
“It was alleged that at about 12:10 PM on 15.07.2023, one female was forcibly detained at Sawombung Gate by a mob numbering about 100 persons, including armed miscreants and was forcibly abducted towards Keibi village in a car,” the CBI statement said.
“...The body of the female was recovered on the same day. CBI investigation revealed that the accused were involved in the said incident.”
An investigation is on to identify the other accused, the statement said.
“The public is reminded that the above findings are based on the investigation done by CBI and evidence collected by it. Under the Indian Law, accused are presumed to be innocent till their guilt is finally established after a fair trial,” the statement added.
Lamlai police station in Imphal East district had registered the case suo motu before the CBI took it over on a request from the Manipur government. Nine people, including five women, were arrested in the case.
According to the victim’s family, Lucy, who belonged to the Maring tribe among the Nagas, was picked up by a group and taken to Sawombung in Imphal East, about 10km from her home in Imphal West where she lived with her mother and brother.
Her murder had triggered tension among the Nagas in Manipur, but the matter was resolved through prompt intervention by leading civil society organisations from both the Naga and Meitei communities — the United Naga Council and the Imphal Valley-based Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity.
The BJP-led state government had been part of the resolution process.
The seven-month-old conflict in Manipur has claimed at least 194 lives and displaced over 67,000.