Police Present in Village When Manipur Man was Lynched: Report
The Manipur police on Sunday, 16 September, suspended four policemen and ordered an inquiry after a purported video of the incident showed that armed police personnel were present in the village when a man was lynched over suspicion of theft, The Indian Express (IE) reported.
“Four Manipur police personnel, including one sub-inspector, who were at the spot, have been suspended on Sunday,” Imphal West SP Jogeschandra Haobijam told The Indian Express.
A Muslim man was beaten to death by a mob on Friday, 14 September, on suspicion of vehicle theft, in Manipur’s Tharoijam area.
The incident took place after a resident noticed that three men were allegedly trying to steal a two wheeler vehicle parked outside their house.
Once the resident alerted the villagers, the trio tried to flee from the spot using a car. As the car rammed into a nearby post, two men managed to flee from the village, while one man was caught and was beaten to death by the villagers, The Times of India reported.
The deceased, identified as Md Farooque, was an MBA graduate from Manipur who had returned to the state after completing an MBA from Bangalore with start-up grants from the Manipur government.
Following the incident, Manipur police arrested five people, including a personnel of India Reserve Battalion (IRB), The Indian Express reported.
The SP said that the investigation is in its nascent stage and it is yet to be ascertained whether Farooque was involved in the lifting of the vehicle.
Taking the mob lynching into account, a public meeting was held at the locality of the victim in Lilong. In the meeting it was resolved that Farooque was murdered under false charges and Joint Action Committee was formed to fight for his justice.
The JAC noted that the victim was of a good moral character and integrity and has no previous records of petty crimes as alleged.
Demanding the facts of the incident, the JAC has also rejected the claims against Farooque for allegedly trying to steal a scooter. The JAC has also taken a note of police inaction despite being present at the spot of the incident. The JAC demanded the guilty police personnel be appropriately punished.
In subsequent development, the mob involved in the lynching incident attacked the the Patsoi police station on hearing that Girani, owner of the vehicle in question, was being detained at Patsoi police station.
The officer-in-charge of the police station sustained injury in the mob attack.
(With inputs from Sunzu Bachaspatimayum)