A 36-year-old woman was reportedly shot dead by a wireless operator of Manipur Police Radio (MPR) posted at Pallel Police station on Friday at around 9 pm. The incident took place in front of a shop at Pallel Mamang Leikai under the jurisdiction of Kakching police station.
The deceased has been identified as Moirangthem Jeemi, wife of Kiran from Pallel Mamang leikai and she is survived by a six-year-old daughter. Jeemi was rushed to a hospital but succumbed to her injuries before reaching the hospital.
The accused has been identified as 40-year-old Kongkham Birjit son of Nabadweep from Mayang Imphal konchak mamang leikai. He fled the scene in his Maruti swift car. It is believed that the gun in his possession might be a .38 pistol.
An eyewitness, Yumnam Jogita devi, said that she and Jeemi came to buy things from a shop owned by one Tarubi at around 9 pm and saw accused Birjit and Tarubi having a heated argument. Birjit pulled out his gun during the argument and tried to shoot Tarubi but missed and the bullet hit Jeemi. It is believed that Tarubi and Birjit were in a relationship, according to locals.
Following the news of Jeemi’s death, irate locals vandalised Tarubi’s shop and stormed Pallel police station and set ablaze the old Pallel Police Station in Pallel Market. A car parked within the premises of the police station was also destroyed.
More than two police personnel were injured in a clash between the police and the mob. Additional security forces rushed to the spot and fired tear gas to disperse the mob and a team of Kakching Fire service also arrived at the scene to douse the fire. The mob was dispersed around midnight.
A Joint Action Committee (JAC) was formed in connection with the death of Jeemi after a meeting was held at the office of Youth Volunteers Association (YVA) and adopted several resolutions.
The resolution includes the arrest of accused Birjit by Saturday and award befitting punishment for his actions. It further added that the victim’s family should be given an ex-gratia of Rs 20 lakh and a government job should be given to the family. The JAC also demanded the authorities concerned to fulfill their demands by December 25.
Speaking to the media, JAC convenor Atom Nungshi Devi strongly condemned the incident and urged the government to take up legal action against the accused. On the other hand, JAC co-convenor H. Romen Khuman demanded the authorities concerned investigate the gun used by accused Birjit.
Locals staged a sit-in protest condemning the unfortunate incident at the waiting shed of Pallel Market. Taking part in the protest deceased Jemmi’s sister M. Khomdonbi also urged the government to arrest and punish the culprit. Placards that read “Punish the accused” and “We condemn Jemmi’s death” were displayed in the sit-in organised by the JAC.
Meanwhile, JAC representatives along with Kakching MLA Mayanglambam Rameshwar called on chief minister N Biren and submitted a memorandum that listed their demands.
As per sources, Biren informed that the accused K Birjit had been arrested by Manipur Police. He assured them that necessary legal action, the sources said.
Although the accused has been arrested, no written assurances were given to them about fulfilling their demands stated in the memorandum. Therefore, the JAC has decided to hold a meeting to discuss the further course of action, the sources said. The body of the deceased has been picked up by Kakching Police and kept at JNIMS Mortuary.