regular-article-logo Tuesday, 28 November 2023

CBI team led by Special Director Ajay Bhatnagar to probe into killing of missing youths in Manipur

The decision was taken within hours of the case being handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation by the Manipur government

PTI Imphal Published 27.09.23, 02:45 PM

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A team of CBI officials, led by the agency's Special Director Ajay Bhatnagar, will reach Imphal in a special flight on Wednesday to investigate the "kidnapping and killing" of two students who went missing in the northeastern state on July 6, sources said.

The decision was taken within hours of the case being handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by the Manipur government.


The team led by Bhatnagar, the second-in-command in the federal agency, will also have Joint Director Ghanshyam Upadhyay, who is camping in Imphal, sources said.

The team will comprise officers who have expertise in special crime, crime scene recreation, interrogation and technical surveillance. It will also have experts from the CBI's elite Central Forensic Science Laboratory, the sources said.

Photos of the bodies of the two missing youths went viral on social media, leading to protests by students in the state. The photos surfaced on social media on Monday.

Altogether 45 students, many of them girls, were injured in Imphal Valley on Tuesday as the police fired tear gas shells and baton-charged protesters demonstrating against the killing of two youths who were allegedly kidnapped in July, officials said.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh posted on X: "In light of the distressing news that emerged yesterday regarding the tragic demise of the missing students, I want to assure the people of the State that both the state and central government are closely working together to nab the perpetrators." "To further expedite this crucial investigation, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director, along with a specialised team, will be arriving in Imphal tomorrow morning in a special flight. Their presence underscores the commitment of our authorities to swiftly resolve this matter," Singh said.

The CM further said he has been in constant touch with Union Home Minister Amit Shah to find the perpetrators of the killings.

The state government earlier said the case has already been handed over to the CBI.

Photos of the bodies of the two students -- Phijam Hemjit (20) and Hijam Linthoingambi (17) -- who were missing since July, went viral on social media on Monday.

One of the two photos purportedly showed the students with two armed men and the other was of two bodies.

Police had previously said the whereabouts of the two were not known and their mobile phones were found switched off.

The last location of their mobile handsets was traced to Lamdan, near the winter flower tourist spot in Churachandpur district, police had said.

More than 175 people have been killed and several hundreds injured since ethnic clashes broke out in the northeastern state on May 3, when a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe status.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal valley, while tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mostly in the hill districts.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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