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Manipur Govt Asks Public To Exercise Restraint, CBI Investigating Students’ Death

Security Personnel On Alert To Prevent Untoward Incident

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Imphal, Sept 26: Hours after photos of the bodies of two students, who had been missing since July, went viral on social media, the Manipur government has asked people to exercise restraint and allow authorities to investigate the “kidnapping and killing” of the duo.

In a statement issued by the secretariat of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh late on Monday night, the state government said the case has already been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

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The two students were identified as Phijam Hemjit (20) and Hijam Linthoingambi (17).

“The state police, in collaboration with the central security agencies, are actively investigating the case to determine the circumstances surrounding their disappearance and to identify the perpetrators who murdered the two students. The security forces have also started the search operation to nab the perpetrators,” the statement said.

Security personnel have been put on alert and additional measures have been taken to prevent any incident following the viral of photos of the students, a senior officer said.

The government 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”, the statement said.

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The government is committed to ensuring justice and will impose severe punishment on any perpetrator found responsible for the heinous crime, it said.

The administration urged people to “exercise restraint and to let the authorities handle the investigation”.

Two photos of the missing students surfaced on social media on Monday.

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

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The two students went missing on July 6.

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

The last location of their handsets was traced at Lamdan near the winter flower tourist spot in the Churachandpur district, they had said earlier.

Meanwhile, more than 30 students, mostly girls, were injured in Manipur’s Imphal Valley on Tuesday as the police fired tear gas shells and baton-charged a mob protesting against the killing of these two youths

The students brought out protest rallies hours after photos of the bodies of the two youths went viral on social media.

The protesters clashed with the police when security forces tried to stop them from advancing towards the Chief Minister’s secretariat here, police said.

The injured protesters were treated at various hospitals.

Manipur has been witnessing ethnic violence since early May.

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 organized 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. (PTI)

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