The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has apprehended the fifth accused in the abduction and murder case of two Meitei students in Manipur.

A 22-year-old man, Paolun Mang, has been arrested by the Crime Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the alleged abduction and murder of two Meitei students in Manipur. This marks the fifth arrest in the case. Paolun Mang was apprehended in Pune, Maharashtra, and subsequently presented before a CBI court, which remanded him to police custody until October 16.

According to unnamed CBI officials, Mang played a significant role in the abduction and murder of the two students. He is being interrogated based on information obtained from the four individuals arrested earlier in the case: Paominlun Haokip, S Malsawm Haokip, Lhingneichong Baitekuki, and Tinneilhing Henthang. These arrests were made by a CBI-led security forces team on October 1 in connection with the alleged abduction and killing of the Meitei group students.

The investigation has revealed that the two students, Phijam Hemanjit Singh and Luwangbi Linthoingambi Hijam, were allegedly abducted by Kuki militants in Laimaton on July 6. While the bodies have not yet been recovered, photographs that emerged in September indicated that they had been killed.

The families of the students believed their children were missing but alive for over two months until the photos surfaced on social media, following the restoration of cellular internet services in the state. These photos depicted the students in a forested area with armed men in the background, and another photo suggested that they were deceased. The incident led to widespread protests in Manipur, including an attempt to storm the chief minister’s residence, prompting the use of tear gas by the police and security forces.

A special CBI team, led by senior officer Special Director Ajay Bhatnagar, was dispatched to Imphal to investigate the alleged murder of the two students. The CBI is also actively searching for LHingneichong’s husband, Wohkhogin Baite, alias Tiger, who is believed to be the main accused in the case.

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