Tradition twisted on Chakkouba eve: Man kills cousin sis, lynched by mob

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IMPHAL, November 6: The high spirit on the eve of Ningol Chakkouba turned into bereavement in Moidangpok as a local 28-year old woman was murdered by her cousin brother at around 10 pm, ostensibly over a grudge after she refused him a loan of Rs 500 for betting on a dice game. The murderer who broke down and confessed to the crime was lynched by a local mob in the wee hours of the day of the festival symbolizing the eternal bond between brothers and sisters.

According to reports, the unfortunate incident happened at the outskirt of the state capital, at Moidangpok Khunou Mamang Leikai which lies under Patsoi Police Station.

The victim has been identified as Ningthoukhongjam Chaoba, 28, daughter of late Kuber of Moidangpok Khunou Mamang Leikai and her killer as N Samananda alias Ibungo, 25, son of Manaobi. Samananda’s family originally hailed from the same locality but later shifted to Keithelmanbi Aheibam Maning Leikai some 13 years back.

However, Samananda used to stay at her house and there was no past enmity between them, her mother stated. She expressed regret that her daughter used to treat Samananda, whom she described as a habitual drunkard, like her own brother.

On the morning of November 4, Samananda came to their house and asked her daughter for Rs 500 as he wanted to play diwali, but he left after her refusal to hand over the money.

On the same day, Chaoba went to sell phanek in the locality but failed to return till late in the evening. On the assumption that she might have visited her sister who is married in the same locality, she made an enquiry but found out that she did not come there. Subsequently, a group of local residents launched a search for Chaoba in the neighborhood, sources added.  

During the search, a local resident recalled hearing a woman’s voice crying for help and pleading to spare her life at Khoujao Lampha, an area about half kilometre from her residence towards the northern side.

On reaching the spot, the family found Chaoba’s body, strangled to death with her own scarf inside a paddy field around 7:30 pm, she stated. Another local recalled seeing Chaoba there following her cousin brother in the evening.

The angry locals went to the house of the accused to enquire about the incident at around 10 pm. They found that Samananda have fresh scratch marks on his chest and face and a blood-stained shirt, further fuelling speculations about his involvement in her murder.

After bringing him to the locality of the dead woman, the locals started questioning him at which point he broke down and confessed that he had snatched the victim’s mobile phone in order to lure her to the spot where her body was found, informed a local.

He also revealed that they entered into a heated argument and resulted in him strangulating Chaoba using her own scarf, sources said.

Samananda told the people assembled there that he hurried away from the spot leaving the death body and her mobile phone.

Following his revelation, the angry locals lynched him around 3:30 am yesterday morning.

Meanwhile, both bodies have been handed over to the respective families after post mortem were conducted at Regional Institute of Medical Sciences morgue.

Concerned police have also registered a case on the incident, sources said.

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