Man acquitted after 25 years in IPS officer killing case

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IMPHAL, March 23 (Newmai News Network): After nearly 25 years, the name of a PLA cadre has been cleared by a Court in Imphal in the IPS officer killing case. The Court has asked for the release of the PLA cadre if there is no other cases against him.

IPS officer Miss Vandana Malik (IPS) was killed in an ambush launched by suspected PLA cadres at Konthoujam Lamkhai in Imphal West district on April 8, 1989.

On the fateful day, officer-incharge (OC) of Lamphel Police Station (now under Imphal West district) Miss Vandana Malik and her team were heading to an examination centre of the High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) on security duty. Around 3 pm, the suspected militants launched the ambush killing Miss Vandana Malik on the spot and injured four police constables critically. One sten-gun, one .38 revolver, two rifles and some ammunitions were taken away by the suspected militants after the incident.

Based on the intelligence inputs, a case was taken up against five cadres of the PLA. Owing to the gravity of the case and the seriousness of the incident considered by the Manipur government, the case was later transferred to the CBI. In connection with the incident, five cadres of the PLA were charge-sheeted. The PLA cadres were N Saratchandra, Thokchom Kunje alias Tolen, M Inaoba alias John, L Tombi alias Surendro and Ch Subhash alias Dolen. Of the five cadres some of them had passed away while others had not been arrested. On September 15, 2011, Thokchom Kunje was arrested by the police from a place in Assam. Ever since then he has been languishing at Sajiwa Jail in Imphal.

Advocate A Ibomcha is the government counsel while advocate Khaidem Mani is the counsel for Thokchom Kunje.

In the case procedings, there were 50 witnesses and 107 documents involved. The court concluded that there was no evidence to support that Thokchom Kunje was involved in the IPS officer killing incident or the April 8, 1989 ambush case.

On Saturday, A Guneshwar Sharma, Designated Judge, Manipur East pronounced that Thokchom Kunje is innocent in connection with the said incident and directed for the release of the person if no other cases are against him.

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