Manipur police on Thursday clarified that the chief of Naphai village, Kangpokpi was killed over a feud related to chieftainship and it was a family matter as revealed by the three main accused who were also found to be the nephews of the deceased chief.
Briefing the media at the Manipur Police Headquarter in Imphal West regarding the arrest of the three accused who were allegedly involved in killing the village chief, ADGP (law and order) Clay Khongsai informed that the accused persons were picked up by the Saikul police on Wednesday relying on the inputs collected from various sources after they were considered as suspects.
(L) Zilhem Khongsai, chief of the village, was killed late Monday around 11.50 pm after being called out from his residence.
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The accused are identified as Thangkhohao Khongsai (37); Jamlal Khongsai (40) and Paomang Khongsai (36). All the accused persons are siblings and they are sons of (L) Jilkhojam Khongsai of Naphai Village, Kangpokpi district.
The accused Jamlal is found to be a cadre of the UG group KLO/KLA which is presently in SoO with the government, said the ADGP.
After thorough interrogation and cross-examination of their statements, it came to light that they were the main accused of the case, Clay Khongsai said, adding that three single barrel guns, which were used in the commission of the crime, were also seized from their possessions.
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According to the statement of the three accused, (L) Zilhem is the caretaker chief of the village and the actual (to be) chief of the village is a young boy, the ADGP said, adding, “The deceased was killed over a controversy and dispute for the post of chief among their family members.”
Stating that “the speculation of the public over the killing is wrong and that it was over a family issue,” he said that the investigation team will continue to do the necessary to extract more facts.
All the three accused were produced before the concerned court on Thursday by the investigation officer of the case with a prayer to remand them into police custody for 10 days for further investigation. The court had also granted the prayer.