- 5 arrested for allegedly beating a man to death in Imphal West district
- The victim, a resident of Thoubal district, was a management student
- The incident sparked fears of communal violence in the area
Five people have been arrested for allegedly killing a man on suspicion of vehicle theft in Manipur's Imphal West district, police said on Friday. The incident sparked fears of communal violence in the area as the victim belonged to a minority community.
According to police, residents of Tharoijam village allegedly beat 26-year-old Farooq Khan to death and destroyed a car he was travelling in early on Thursday. However, two people accompanying him managed to escape.
Mr Khan, a management student, was a resident of Lilong in Thoubal district.
Later, villagers attacked the Patsoi police station and demanded unconditional release of the arrested people. The station officer in-charge was injured in the clash that ensued.
Although villagers alleged that Mr Khan and his friends were caught stealing a two-wheeler around 3.30 am that day, police said they are yet to verify it. Thirteen people who attacked the trio have been identified and will be arrested soon, they added.
Muslim groups held that the victim was innocent, and have asked the government to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident. The Manipur Human Rights Commission has registered a suo moto case, and directed the Manipur deputy general of police to submit a report by September 22.
A joint action committee formed to investigate the incident has stated that Mr Khan was innocent, and had left his residence to meet a friend.
BJP-ruled Manipur is among a number of states that has witnessed a spate of mob-killings in recent months. Two people were brutally assaulted by local residents on suspicion of child-lifting in Kangpokpi district two months ago.