Photos of the bodies of the two students — Phijam Hemjit (20) and Hijam Linthoingambi (17) — who have been missing since July, went viral on social media on Monday.
A team of CBI officials, led by the agency’s Special Director Ajay Bhatnagar, will reach Imphal in a special flight on Wednesday to investigate the “kidnapping and killing” of two Meitei students who went missing in the northeastern state on July 6, sources told PTI.
The decision was taken within hours of the case being handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by the Manipur government.
The team of officials under Bhatnagar, the second-in-command in the federal agency, will also have Joint Director Ghanshyam Upadhyay, who is camping in Imphal, sources told PTI.
The team will comprise officers who have expertise in special crime, crime scene recreation, interrogation and technical surveillance. It will also have experts from the CBI’s elite Central Forensic Science Laboratory, sources told PTI.
Photos of the bodies of the two students — Phijam Hemjit (20) and Hijam Linthoingambi (17) — who have been missing since July, went viral on social media on Monday. In one photo, the two students are seen sitting on a grassy compound with two armed men in the background. Another photo showed their bodies with the head of Hemjit appearing to be missing.
Police had previously said the whereabouts of the two were not known and their mobile phones were found switched off. The last location of their mobile handsets was traced to Lamdan, near the winter flower tourist spot in Churachandpur district, police had said.
In a post on X, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said: “In light of the distressing news that emerged yesterday regarding the tragic demise of the missing students, I want to assure the people of the state that both the state and central government are closely working together to nab the perpetrators.”
He said the presence of the CBI officers in the state “underscores the commitment of our authorities to swiftly resolve this matter”. “I have been constantly in touch with Hon’ble Union Home Minister Shri @AmitShah ji to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice,” Singh said.
Security personnel have been put on alert and additional measures have been taken to prevent any incident following the photos of the deceased students going viral, the Chief Minister’s statement added. The government has also appealed to the public to exercise restraint and to let the authorities handle the investigation.
Killing of 2 students triggers massive protest in Manipur, over 50 injured
Over 50 students were injured in the Manipur capital Imphal on Tuesday during a massive protest against the killing of two missing students.
Thousands of students on Tuesday hit the streets to condemn the killings and demand justice for the slain duo. When they attempted to march towards the residence of Chief Minister N Biren Singh, police and paramilitary personnel fired tear gas shells and smoke bombs to disperse them.
State govt suspends internet services
After fresh violence on Tuesday, the government reimposed the ban on mobile internet and internet services through VPN in the state for five days with immediate effect. Mobile internet services, suspended on May 3 over of ethnic violence, were restored three days ago.