Man accused of rape shot dead by militants in Manipur

Banned outfit United National Liberation Front (UNLF) said it gave “exemplary punishment” and killed a 43-year-old man accused of raping his 11-year-old niece.

In what it called “exemplary punishment”, a militant outfit in Manipur shot a 43-year-old man accused of raping his 11-year-old niece, police said on Saturday.

Police in Imphal West district said three armed men shot the man identified as Irom Bobo after bringing him blindfolded in a car to Tera Pukhrambam Leirak area of Imphal. The trio fled soon after putting two bullets in Bobo’s head on Friday night.

Alerted by the gunshots, people in the locality came out of their homes and found Bobo lying in a pool of blood. He succumbed to injuries at a local hospital.

The incident took place a day before Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh sought withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from the state in view of improvement in the law and order scenario. The law, said to give the armed forces the license to kill, was lifted in 2004 from seven assembly constituencies straddling state capital Imphal.

The United National Liberation Front (UNLF), a banned outfit, later owned up to killing Bobo. “He confessed to raping a minor and so we gave him exemplary punishment,” it said in a statement.

Bobo was charge-sheeted in 2013 for allegedly raping his 11-year-old niece. He had also spent some time in jail and he could have been out on bail, officials said.

“His trial was on for some time. But I am not aware of the outcome of the case,” said Imphal West senior superintendent of police (SSP) Themthing Ngashanva.

“We are examining various angles to the shooting, including the possibility that he was killed in connection with the rape,” he added.

The UNLF, Ngashanva said, had in March claimed responsibility for killing an alleged pimp.

Militants in Manipur and elsewhere in the northeast have been known to take moral policing to an extreme level. Meghalaya’s Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council used to punish rapists and molesters with less severe punishment, but its former chief Julius K Dorphang was in December last year accused of raping a minor twice. Dorphang, an independent legislator, is in jail.

About Anika Vihaan

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