Saturday, September 23, 2023

Village chief assassinatedover family feud: Manipur police

Manipur police on Thursday said the recent murder of chief of Naphai village Jilhem Khongsai in Kangpokpi district was not linked to a ban imposed on poppy cultivation even it arrested three suspects on the night of June 6 last.
Saikul police investigating into the case arrested the three suspects around 4.30 pm on Wednesday and confiscated three SBBL guns from their possessions.
The arrested suspects were identified as Jamlai Khongsai (40), Thangkhohao Khongsai (37) and Paomang Khongsai (36), all residents of Naphai village.
Among them, Jamlai Khongsai is a cadre of the Kuki National Army (KLA), an armed group under suspension of operation truce with the government, the police said.
The police produced them in the court of duty magistrate of Kangpokpi district today and took a 10-day police remand.
The murder of the chief has nothing to do with a notification he had issued banning poppy cultivation practice in his area, additional DGP (law & order and training) Clay Khongsai told reporters today.
He said that preliminary statements of the three suspects suggested that the killing of the village chief was linked to the race for post of the chief of the village, he said.
The deceased Jilhem Khongsai was not a full time chief of the village. He looked after the charge of the chief as the caretaker after the death of his father who was the chief of the village.
The three suspects are the cousins of the deceased Jilhem Khongsai who were competing for the post of the chief since their father expired, he said
“The main motive would be a family feud. There was a dispute over the successor after the chief of the Naphai village died,” Khongsai said.
He, however, added that the actual motive behind the assassination will be known only after a thorough investigation.
The additional DGP said that the police were compelled to disclose this as there were speculations that the killing of the village chief was linked to the ban on poppy cultivation he imposed to show solidarity to the government’s war on drugs.
He said that considering the sensitive nature of the case, Saikul police station is closely considering all angles and motives behind the crime and an intensive investigation was in progress.
The family members of the deceased chief have expressed suspicion of the killing linked to a notification issued by the deceased chief prohibiting poppy cultivation in his area.
Meanwhile, the dead body of the chief is lying at RIMS morgue after necessary postmortem as family members refused to accept it while pressing to book the culprits.


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