NEW DELHI, Sept 27: A CBI team led by special director Ajay
Bhatnagar reached Imphal Wednesday afternoon to investigate
the “kidnapping and killing” of two students days after they
went missing, sources said.
Photos of the bodies of the two students — Phijam Hemjit (20)
and Hijam Linthoingambi (17) — who were missing since July 6,
were shared widely on social media on Monday, sparking fresh
rounds of protests in the state.
The focus of the agency will be identifying the scene of crime,
retrieve the bodies besides and nail the perpetrators, the
The team will meet senior police and government officials and
go through local intelligence about the tragic incident, they
The state government in consultation with the home ministry
referred the matter to the CBI which immediately dispatched a
team of officials led by agency’s second in command
Bhatanagar to probe the crime.
Another senior officer, joint director Ghanshyam Upadhyay,
who is camping in Imphal, also joined the team on arrival, the
The team comprises 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.
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 phones was traced to Lamdan,
near the winter flower tourist spot in Churachandpur district,
police had said.
In a post on X, Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh had said on
Tuesday: “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
He said the presence of the CBI officers in the state
“underscores the commitment of our authorities to swiftly
resolve this matter”.
“I have been constantly in touch with Hon’ble Union Home
Minister Shri @AmitShah ji to find the perpetrators and bring
them to justice,” Singh said.
Security personnel have been put on alert and additional
measures taken to prevent any incident following the photos of
the deceased students going viral, a senior officer said.
The government has assured people that “swift and decisive
action will be taken against all those involved in the kidnapping
and killing of Phijam Hemjit and Hijam Linthoingambi”. (PTI)