IMPHAL, Sept 13: The prime suspect in the rape and murder of a teenage girl at Cheirao Ching has been arrested by Ukhrul police today.
The accused is identified as one Wungthem Mawon, 22, s/o Likeson of Tushen Chanhong Village in Ukhrul district. He is currently pursuing B.Com final year at DM College of Commerce and at present staying in a rented house at Lamphel.
Police sources informed that the accused has admitted committing the crime during preliminary interrogation.
The accused was produced before the CJM Imphal this evening and was given remand to police custody for 10 days.
The source further informed that Wungthem was arrested by Ukhrul police following a tip off from SDPO Lamphel who has been handling the case. He was arrested in the wee hours today at around 1:30 am from Lamlang gate which falls under the jurisdiction of Ukhrul police station. He was handed over to Lamphel police later today.
As per the interrogation, it has been revealed that the victim and the accused were having love affairs. On September 10, they arranged a date at Khongnang Anikarak, Chingmeirong at around 10:30 am and later went to Cheirao Ching.
Wungthem confessed that he killed Khaleng using his scarf on the same afternoon.
As per the confession of the accused, the murder was triggered following an argument between them. The accused left Imphal for Ukhrul the next day, the police said.
The accused also further confessed that no third person was involved in the crime and it has been informed that there was several scar marks on his body which police hinted could have been made by the deceased herself while trying to escape from strangulation.
A statement issued by the Senior Superintendent of Police, L. Kailun, expressed appreciation of the help and support rendered by family members, NGOs, Ukhrul police, in making the effort to nab the culprit successfully.
On the other hand, strongly condemning the incident the staffs and students of the RK Sanatombi Devi Vidyala, today took out a silent protest rally this morning around 11 am from Khuman Lampak Dingku road till Dewlahland Tangkhul Baptist church where a public meeting was held.
During the rally the students displayed placards which reads “We need peace not violence”, “We need good human beings not criminals”, “Punish the culprit immediately” etc.
The meet at the church was attended by many social leaders, community leaders, students’ bodies including the chairperson of the Manipur state commission for women, I. Ibetombi. It was organized by the Tangkhul Katamnaolong Imphal.
Talking to media persons at the sideline of the rally, the principal of the school, H. Nobinchand, strongly condemned the incident terming the act as barbaric.
He call on the people to fight unitedly against such heinous crime against students and children to prevent similar incident in the future.
In the meantime, many NGOs continue to join the band wagon of condemnation of the rape and subsequent murder of 15 year old Vasmi Khaleng D/o Ngaithingkhui of Paorei village.
The North East Dialogue Forum (NEDF), in a statement terming the act as inhuman asserted that the forum take it seriously besides terming it as a threat to the survivability of womenfolk.
While citing the rapid increase of crime against women and children in the state during the last few years it draws the attention of the entire stake holders, civil societies, NGOs to response collectively to stop the escalating crime against inhumanity.
It appeals the state government to check and investigate such inhuman act against the weaker lot without any delay and book and punish the perpetrators.
The Women Action for Development (WAD), in a statement also sturdily condemned the rape and murder of Vasmi Khaleng.
It claimed that there are a total of 92 cases of violence against women reported to local newspapers which include rape, rape and murder, murder suicide, missing, molestation, etc. It recalled that the most recent incidents of crime against women and children are the rape of six year old minor girl of Achanbigei on September 3 night and murder of four year old minor girl of Tangkhul Khullen.
In view of the increasing crimes rate an alarming level it drew the attention of all NGOs to fight collectively and also appeal the state government to intervene to such heinous crime against women ensuring the protection of women and children.
It urged the entire 60 MLAs should not remain a mere spectator and rather use their political right and not to politicize the issue in view of the upcoming general election.
It further appeal the law enforcing department and judiciary bodies to look in to the matter seriously for delivering justice without any delay.
The Naga Peoples’ Union Imphal (NPUI), Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights while strongly condemning the killing of Vasmi Khaleng asked the government to award the culprit at the maximum applicable of legal punishment befittingly to life time.
It share the grief and pain of the bereave family at this painful time and prayed for the soul of the victim to rest in peace.