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March 4, 2024

CBI Files Chargesheet Against 7 Suspects in Manipur’s Bishnupur Armoury Loot Case Amid Ethnic Violence

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken a significant step in the ongoing investigation into the Bishnupur armoury loot case amidst the backdrop of ethnic violence in Manipur. On Sunday, the CBI filed a chargesheet against seven accused before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Kamrup (Metro), Guwahati.

The incident, which occurred on May 4 last year during ethnic clashes between the Metei community and tribal Kukis, saw a mob looting over 300 weapons, 19,800 rounds of ammunition, and other accessories from the Battalion Headquarters in Bishnupur.

The chargesheet lists the names of seven individuals allegedly involved in the crime: Laishram Prem Singh, Khumukcham Dhiren alias Thapkpa, Moirangthem Anand Singh, Athokpam Kajit alias Kishorjit, Loukrakpam Michael Mangangcha alias Michael, Konthoujam Romojit Meitei alias Romojit, and Keisham Johnson alias Johnson.

While the investigation continues to identify other suspects, it’s noteworthy that five of the accused have previously been charged by the CBI in a similar case involving the looting of police armoury at the Manipur Police Training Centre (MPTC) in Imphal. Moirangthem Anand Singh, reportedly a former member of banned outfits, is alleged to have links to rebel groups in Myanmar.

The accused were initially apprehended by the Manipur police in September last year for allegedly extorting money while posing as law enforcement officials. This led to protests lasting two days. Although five of the suspects were released following a court order, Singh was detained by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and brought to Delhi for further interrogation regarding his purported connections with rebel factions in Myanmar and alleged involvement in subversive activities within Manipur.

Currently, Singh remains in judicial custody, while the status of the other six individuals is pending confirmation. The chargesheet filing by the CBI marks a significant development in the pursuit of justice amidst the complex socio-political landscape of Manipur, where ethnic tensions have often fueled incidents of violence and criminal activity.

Rajan Shukla

Rajan Shukla

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