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'He Can't Sleep Without His Father': Tears of Anguish in Manipur's Kakching

This is the story of two men who went missing on 4 July. A distressing video revealed their horrifying fate.

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Stories of suffering and loss continue to emerge from Manipur, a state that has been torn apart by ethnic violence since 3 May.

This is the story of two men from Kakching District who went missing on 4 July. A distressing video emerged on social media the next day, revealing the horrifying fate that befell both of them.

The video depicted them being subjected to torture. They were eventually fatally shot by armed miscreants.

As of today, their bodies have not been found, leaving the families devastated and yearning for closure.

The Quint visited the grieving families of both victim – 26-year-old Irengbam Chinkhienganba and 33-year-old Sagolshem Nganleiba. Here is what the families had to say.

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    (Photo: Borun Thockchom/The Quint)

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'Our Son Inquires About His Father Every Night'

Sagolshem Ebochao, father of Sagolshem Nganleiba, recounted the tale of that devastating night.

He stated that on 4 July, his son and his son’s cousin, Irengbam Chingkheinganba, went to meet their sister. Until 6 pm, they were in touch, after which his son’s phone was abruptly switched off.

Sagolshem Ebochao, father of Sagolshem Nganleiba.

(Photo: Borun Thockchom/The Quint)

“We tried communicating with him all night, and gathered relatives and friends to do a mass search for the two, but in vain.” It wasn’t until 11 pm on the next day that they received the dreaded phone call that confirmed their deaths.

“I could not bear to watch the video,” Nganleiba's father said in anguish.

Ebochao was severely shocked to hear his son’s begging voice, pleading with the Kuki assailants that he had a son to look after. “I feel worried about how to take care of their 2 sons, as my daughter-in-law is very young.”

Sagolshem Sylvia, the wife of the deceased, was inconsolable.

She said that their son cries for his father every night and doesn’t know about the incident. He is unable to sleep. “I am too heartbroken for our son.”

Sagolshem Sylvia, wife of Sagolshem Nganleiba.

(Photo: Borun Thockchom/The Quint)


'Came to Imphal for Civil Services Exam'

Erengbam Dhana Mietie, father of Chingkheinganba, said that his son was a Master's graduate from Chandigarh. After staying in Delhi, he had visited Imphal for his civil services exam.

Erengbam Dhana Mietie, father of Chingkheinganba.

(Photo: Borun Thockchom/The Quint)

He went with his cousin to visit his sister, and likewise, his phone was switched off after a few hours. “We heard about a video of two young youths being shot by Kuki people, so we went to check the video.”

Earlier, we had our doubts since his shirt was different from what was described in the video. "Later, we realised that they had put the Arambam printed shirt on him," Erengbam explained.

However, upon seeing the video, there was no mistaking Chingkheinganba.

"He was tortured brutally and killed at point-blank range," Chingkheinganba's father concluded.

The grieving families are not only seeking justice but are also hoping to recover the mortal remains of the deceased.

An FIR has been filed at Sekmai Police Stattion against "armed miscreants" for "murder, kidnapping... and unauthorised possession of firearms."

Today marks 100 days since ethnic violence erupted in Manipur. You can follow The Quint's coverage here.

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