The girlfriend of Ak Nonganba, who was arrested in connection with Nonganba’s mysterious murder case, was pelted with stones and water bottles by an irate mob on Tuesday at the entrance of the Kangpokpi court complex.
As the girlfriend, identified as Th Sonia, 40, daughter of Th Shantikumar of Kwakeithel Thokchom Leikai, Imphal West, was brought in a bullet proof vehicle, there was no report of any injuries.
She was produced before the Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Kangpokpi, by the IO of the case with a prayer to remand her to judicial custody for further investigation of the case, as her police custody remand period was completed.
Besides shouting various slogans demanding exemplary punishment against Sonia and other accused persons of the murder case, the mob also tried to throng inside the court complex during the hearing. However, police successfully prevented the mob from storming inside the court complex.
It is reported that the body of Nonganba was found near Changoubung village, beside west of NH-2 in Kangpokpi district on February 12 afternoon.
As the deceased was suspected to have succumbed to his grievous injuries after being brutally attacked with hard objects by some unknown persons, the Kangpokpi police station registered a suo-moto case.
As per the investigation report, Sonia accompanied Nonganba on February 11 to have lunch at Senapati as invited by Stephen Dangmei, (another accused of the case who is at large).
On reaching Senapati, Nonganba, Stephen and another accused Moses Gonmei (NSCN-IM deputy kilonser who is now in jail) drank liquor together while Sonia gave them company without drinking the liquor and later had a meal together at Moses house in Senapati, the report stated.
Later in the evening, they heMoses physically assaulted Nonganba to the extent of picking up stones to hit him in the presence of Sonia, the report stated. It stated that as per the description of the heated scene by Sonia, Moses has gone to the extent of extreme aggressiveness and threatened to kill Nonganba by getting permission from Stephen.
The report further stated that after a series of arguments and tussle which went for about 30 minutes, Stephen finally handed over their car key (which was held by him, as per Sonia's request) to Sonia who in turn handed over to Nonganba but Sonia did not embark in the vehicle while Nonganba was sitting at the driver seat, as a result Nonganba drove the vehicle away from the spot, leaving Sonia behind.
“The behaviour of Sonia at this crucial juncture is doubtful. She remained as mute spectator instead of opposing Moses and Stephen in favour of her partner Nonganba. When the car was handed over to Sonia, she was supposed to get inside the car and drive away along with Nonganba but, she simply handed over the car key and stood still beside the car which looks like if she has no intention/willingness to go along with the deceased (Nonganba) or depart with the two accused Moses and Stephen”, the police report mentioned.
The report stated that a few minutes until Nonganba returned to the same location and called up Sonia, more heated arguments than the previous one took place involving more physical assault on Nonganba by Moses. Also, Moses threatened Nonganba that he would kill him if he got permission from his boss (Stephen), it stated.
The whole incident of the assault was captured in a CCTV footage, the police report said.
“From these circumstances, it has been ascertained that Sonia, Moses and Stephen went together inside the hotel to hatch criminal conspiracy to kill Nonganba with their associates which resulted into more violent/aggressive actions by Moses when Nongnganba came back to call up Sonia”, the police statement further said.
Considering the facts and circumstances compiled by the statement of witnesses, the IO came to a conclusion that Moses and Stephen, along with their associates abducted Nonganba and put him in one vehicle and brutally murdered him and dumped the body besides the highway.
While producing Sonia before the court, the IO submitted that she was not cooperating with the investigation process and her statement contradicted with the facts of the case at many crucial periods.
Stating that gathering of more evidence from different angles and sources is in full swing, the IO prayed to remand Sonia to police custody to ascertain the facts that she is involved in the murder of Nonganba.
Meanwhile, the counsel of Sonia submitted a remand objection prayer and subsequently filed a bail application seeking her release on various grounds.
Following the submission and prayer of the IO, the court remanded Soina in judicial custody for 15 days and fixed March 14 for bail consideration.