In a major twist surrounding the death of van driver Yanglem Priyobarta, the family of accused James said that Priyobarta had tried to outrage the modesty of Sandhyarani and he was killed in retaliation.
N Kunjarashi, mother of Heisnam Ongbi Sandhyrani told the media at the Manipur Press Club on Wednesday that Sandhyarani and her husband, Heisnam James, left Imphal for Dimapur on December 30 at 8 pm along with their one-year-old son in an Eco Van which was driven by Priyobarta.
Narrating the incident, Kunjarashi said that, according to Sandhyarani, the two men were drinking on the way and her daughter tried to stop them but they refused. And while James was asleep, Prioyobarta allegedly tried to sexually molest Sandhyarani who was breast-feeding her son at that moment.
And when Sandhyarani shouted in retaliation for the abuse, James woke up and confronted Priyobarta, Kunjarashi narrated.
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As per the statement given to the officer in charge of women police, Senapati by Sandhyarani, it stated, “After a long drive Priyo asked whether Bhai (my husband) has slept or not, in which I said he slept. Priyo stopped the vehicle on the way and suddenly Priyo, who was driving the Eco van turned towards me and he pulled out my scarf. At the relevant time, I was breastfeeding my son. In that my breast was not covered with clothes. Then my right breast was touched by Priyo in that I shouted, my son also cried and suddenly my husband also woke up.”
Following the aggression between James and Priyobarta, the latter took out a big knife from under his seat and threatened the couple to keep shut. In reaction, Sandhyarani flung the knife from Priyobarta’s hand which fell on the floor, Kunjarashi narrated.
She continued that James picked up the knife and stabbed Priyobarta, piercing through the driver’s seat following which the latter ran off. However, James chased Priyobarta and the fight continued wherein the husband of Sandhyarani killed Priyobarta, Kunjarashi said as per a statement of Sandhyarani.