Missing Manipur students found dead; Photos go viral as internet restored
The statement, released on September 25, conveyed, "It has come to the notice of the State Government that the photos of two students, Phijam Hemjit (20 years) and Hijam Linthoingambi (17 years), who have been missing since July 2023, have surfaced on social media.
In a recent development, the Manipur government has pledged "swift and decisive" action after images emerged on social media, revealing the bodies of two students who had gone missing in July. This revelation coincided with the restoration of mobile Internet services in the violence-stricken northeastern state.
According to an official statement from the Manipur chief minister's office, the case has already been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The two missing students have been identified as 17-year-old Hijam Linthoingambi and 20-year-old Phijam Hemjit.
The statement, released on September 25, conveyed, "It has come to the notice of the State Government that the photos of two students, Phijam Hemjit (20 years) and Hijam Linthoingambi (17 years), who have been missing since July 2023, have surfaced on social media. It may be noted that this case has already been handed over to the CBI as per the wishes of the people of the state."
The disturbing images, widely circulated on social media, depicted the two students seated in the grassy compound of what appeared to be a makeshift jungle camp of an armed group.
The Manipur police, in collaboration with central security agencies, is actively conducting an investigation into the case. Their aim is to determine the circumstances surrounding the students' disappearance and identify the perpetrators responsible for their murder.
To apprehend those responsible, security forces have initiated a search operation. In response to this distressing situation, the government has assured the public of swift and resolute action against anyone involved in the kidnapping and murder of Phijam Hemjit and Hijam Linthoingambi.
The government is committed to upholding justice and intends to impose severe penalties on any individuals found guilty of this heinous crime. They have also urged the public to exercise restraint and allow the authorities to handle the investigation.
The state of Manipur has been in turmoil and plagued by unchecked violence since May, triggered by a high court order directing the state government to consider granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the non-tribal Meitei community.
This ruling led to widespread ethnic clashes, resulting in over 170 casualties and several hundred injuries. The unrest initially erupted on May 3 when a 'Tribal Solidarity March' took place in hill districts, protesting against the majority Meitei community's demand for ST status.