Imphal, Feb 1:
In response to an article published on Scroll.in, the Manipur Police announced today that Philip Khaikholal Khongsai and Hemkholal Mate, who were arrested on January 15, 2023, in connection with the killing of SDPO Anand Chingtham, have admitted their involvement in the crime.
On the official page of Manipur police, it is stated, “During police custody, during interrogation, they revealed their involvement in the killing of the SDPO, Moreh. As a result, the IO filed an application for the formal arrest of the duo in connection with the case of the killing of Shri Anand Chingtham. The court granted permission for the formal arrest of the duo. However, they were remanded into judicial custody until February 12.
Late Chingtham Anand Kumar, Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Moreh, was shot dead on October 31, 2023, by armed Kuki militants while he was on duty overseeing the cleaning of the ground of Eastern Shine School for the construction of a helipad in Moreh, jointly by the State force and BSF.
Following the death of the Sub-Divisional Police Officer, the security forces launched joint search operations in Moreh and the surrounding areas to apprehend the culprits responsible for the crime and arrested both individuals on January 15, 2024.
“Since the early morning of January 17, 2024, heavily armed Kuki militants launched further attacks on the State police forces using sophisticated weapons, including RPG launchers, bombs, and long-range assault rifles, killing two police personnel and injuring seven others in Moreh. In response to demands from some organizations for the removal of state forces from Moreh, it is reiterated that the State government has the responsibility to ensure law and order and the deployment of forces in any part of Manipur, including Moreh, which is inhabited by multiple communities, as in any other area in the state.
“With regard to the allegations of security forces setting houses of civilians on fire, an FIR case has been registered into the incident, and an investigation is ongoing. The investigation thus far has not revealed any evidence that the arson was carried out by any of the security forces.
“It should be noted that there were attacks from heavily armed Kuki militants and miscreants using rockets and bombs in many places in Moreh from the early morning of January 17, including in the areas where the fire incident took place, and security forces engaged with them throughout the day. The unfortunate fire incident was extinguished with the help of fire tenders, security forces, and the locals. The State police and other security forces are working around the clock to maintain law and order and bring peace to Moreh,” the Manipur police posted on ‘X’.