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Drug money dispute led to murder of 4 in Manipur

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: January 02, 2024 20:28 IST
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The situation in the minority-dominated Lilong Chingjao area in Manipur's Thoubal district, where four villagers were gunned down by cadres of the banned People's Liberation Army, remained calm on Tuesday as additional security forces were deployed there, officials said.

Image only for representation. Photograph: ANI Photo

The toll in the incident increased to four after one more person succumbed to injuries, while two other critically injured persons were undergoing treatment at the ICU of an Imphal-based hospital, they said.

The incident was seen as the fallout of a dispute over money collected through illegal drug trade, the officials said.


Giving details of the incident, the officials said that some cadres of the banned People's Liberation Army arrived at the house of one person, who has several narcotics cases pending against him.

Within minutes, around 1,000 people gathered outside the residence of the suspected narcotic dealer at Lilong Chingjao village, 15 km from the Thoubal district headquarters and chased away the PLA cadres.

On the run, the PLA cadres opened indiscriminate fire on the locals, killing four and injuring some others.

The Revolutionary People's Front (RPF), the political wing of the People's Liberation Army, issued a statement claiming that the gunmen belonged to the outfit and they were holding an internal inquiry into the incident. Both the organisations are banned under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

After the incident, police held an inter-faith meeting in the presence of civil society leaders and Lilong MLA Abdul Nasir to ease tension in the area.

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh also assured that the culprits will be arrested and punished as per the law.

The chief minister visited Raj Medicity hospital where the injured were being treated.

After his visit, Singh posted on X, "We strongly condemn all forms of violence, and the state government has launched mass combing operations to nab the culprits and the culprit will be punished according to the law. No one is above the law."

Additional security forces have been deployed in the area and vehicular patrolling has been increased to prevent any untoward incident, he said.

The chief minister later visited the families of the deceased to "offer my heartfelt condolences and express my sympathy during this difficult time".

"We stand united as a community and our government is committed to ensuring swift and thorough investigations to bring those responsible to justice," he posted on X.

Residents of Lilong Chingjao submitted a memorandum to the chief minister with a list of demands. They demanded that the investigation into the incident be handed over to the National Investigation Agency and ex-gratia payment of Rs 20 lakh each to the families of the deceased and Rs 2 lakh to the injured.

Meanwhile, with curfew being imposed in five districts of Imphal Valley in view of the "prevailing law and order situation", a few vehicles were seen plying roads as most commercial establishments remained closed.

The deceased, whose bodies were brought to Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal for post-mortem examination, were identified as Md Daulat (30), M Sirajuddin (50), Md Azad Khan (40) and Md Hussain (22), the officials said.

Ten others were injured in the incident and are currently undergoing treatment at another hospital in Imphal. Four of them received gunshot wounds, and of the four, two are in ICU.

After the attack, enraged locals set fire to four vehicles in which the attackers had arrived.

Senior superintendent of police of Thoubal Rakesh Balwal was among the first to reach the spot after the incident.

Following the violence, curfew was imposed in Thoubal, Imphal East and Imphal West, Kakching and Bishnupur districts.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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