The court of Special Judge (NIA) Imphal West on Monday remanded the two cadres of the armed Kuki Revolutionary Army-Unification (KRA-U), who were arrested in connection with the missing case of two teenagers from Akham Awang Leikai, into 15-day judicial custody till December 4.
However, considering the prevailing situation in the state, the court stated it would be risky to lodge the accused persons at the Manipur Central Jail, Sajiwa.
“It is a fact that it would be highly risky to bring the accused persons from Senapati PS and lodge them to Manipur Central Jail, Sajiwa. Safety of the accused persons also concerns the Court”, stated the court.
The IO submitted that the accused persons may be lodged at Kohima Sub-Jail, situated at Kohima, Nagaland.
The court stated that lodging them, namely, Lhunkhosei Chongloi alias Mimin (30), son of Hentinthang Chongloi of C Aisan village, Saikul and Satgohgin Hangsing alias Gogou (28), son of Ngamjalun Hangsing of Khomunnom village, Litan, in a jail outside the state would require assistance of various governmental agencies. Thus, the IO has directed to place a detailed proposal in this regard by 3 pm of November 21, 2023.
In the meantime, the accused persons are allowed to be kept in the safe custody of the O.C. Senapati PS.
The public prosecutor (in-charge) submitted to the court the logistics issue in bringing the two accused to Imphal due to the conflict situation.
During the hearing, a special public prosecutor (in-charge) submitted that Lunkhosei Chongloi @ Mimin is the Sector Commander of KRA(U), the main suspect of the crime. After monitoring his mobile phone and on receiving reliable information, he has been arrested in the case along with Satgougin Hangsing @ Gogou.
After taking their statements and further investigation, their participation in the offence is highly probable and for ascertaining the locations of the accused persons on different places from November 4 to November 6, requisition had been made to the Nodal Officer, LIU for obtaining CDR, IPDR and SDR of the mobile phones of the accused persons, the prosecutor said.
It is also submitted that in view of the present law and order situation, it is very difficult for the IO to investigate the case smoothly but the materials so far collected in the investigation point fingers to the accused persons and remanding the accused persons into judicial custody is warranted so as to enable the IO to investigate the case properly further.
Counsel of the accused persons submitted that both the accused persons are innocent and have been falsely implicated in the case without any material. It is also submitted that any Kuki may be a suspect in such a case but nothing comes up against these two accused persons in spite of their detention in police custody.
Counsel also submitted that KRA(U) is under SoO and as such, being a member of KRA(U) does not amount to committing any offence, in as much as, both the accused persons have no connection with the alleged offences.
At this stage, the merits of the case or the involvement of the persons in the present case could not be mentioned in all aspects, stated the court, adding, however, from the perusal of the police papers, so far placed before the court, opined that involvement of the accused persons in the alleged offences cannot be ruled out at the present stage without further investigation.
In other words, there is no sufficient ground to release the accused persons on bail at the present stage and giving a free hand to the IO for further investigation would be more proper in view of the materials on record.