IMPHAL, July 25: In a sensational revelation, the Little Flower School girl in the heart-rending kidnap case in 2003 whose lifeless body was recovered after being kidnapped for ransom, was raped by two accused before being eventually killed.
Central Bureau of Investigation, CBI counsel H Chandrajit Sharma, special public prosecutor told the District & Session Judge/ Manipur East today.
Today’s case proceeding was an agreement hearing on a bail plea by one of the main accused Heisnam Ningol alias Prem Devi, 57, daughter of (L) H Yaima Singh of Nongmaikhong Awang Leikai.
The eight year old daughter of a minister in the current Ibobi governent was kidnapped on November 4, 2003 around 3.30pm from her school Little Flower English School.
The CBI counsel said the girl (name withheld) was killed in a barbaric and heinous manner.
Altogether there are 48 Prosecution Witnesses in the charge-sheet submitted to the court by the CBI, he said.
He continued that charge-sheet witness no 22 in his statement has stated that the girl was kept concealed in the house of O Purnima and Suresh after being kidnapped and was raped there by two of the accused in the case Thokchom Nando alias Nanao and RK Sanjoy.
The petitioner was a lady Homeguard with the Manipur Police, but was released from service after being arrested with a demand letter, the CBI counsel said.
Heisnam Ningol has been in judicial custody ever since, a special team of the CBI had arrested her on April 8, around 3.50 pm from the RIMS campus.
He continued that the petitioner had been seen accompanying other co-accused and driving around in a scooter.
The petitioner could be the person referred to as “aunty” of the girl, frequently reflected in the case, the CBI counsel said while further arguing that another accused in the case is yet to be arrested.
He also argued that the petitioner is not listed in the supplementary charge-sheet of the CBI, but is one of the main accused for whom the CBI had announced a Rs. 1 lakh reward.
Her interrogation had led to the arrest of another accused and since she has denied revealing more, there is consideration to use scientific methods to investigate, he said.
If she is innocent in the killing, than why had she tried to stop womenfolk from protesting at Langol after the recovery of the girl’s body? Why had she gone to Sajik Tampak and why had she remained absconded for such a long time, he asked while stating that from the statements of the PWs, her involvement in the killing is clear and appealed to the court against granting her bail.
The defence counsel while pleading for Heisnam Ningol’s bail claimed before the court that she will not try to tamper with the prosecution witnesses or any other related with the case, and will not abscond and continue to take part in the trial of the case.
The counsel further declared that she was never a member of any UG group.
Last month, the petitioner had pleaded for bail from the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West which was rejected by the court on June 23.
The accused again filed another petition with the District and Session Judge, Manipur East seeking bail.
The CBI had submitted a bail objection report on July 19 to the court, which is followed by today’s argument hearing.
During today’s hearing, the defence counsel of the accused claimed the charges against Heisnam Ningol were baseless and fabricated claims.
He asked if the petitioner is charged of owning a gun, then has any gun been recovered from her.
What was CBI doing for so long, when the case has been continuing for more than 10 years, he asked?
He said the petitioner is a diabetic patient and being a woman, her being lodged in the jail is taking its toll on her mental health.
A day after the minor was kidnapped; the Lamphel Police Station registered a case under FIR No 181 (11) 2003 LPL PS u/s 364-A, 368, 400, 302, 384 IPC.
However, the State Home department announced the handing over of the case to the CBI on March 34, 2004 through an official notification.
In pursuance of the State government’s notification, the Centre had also issued an official notification directing the CBI to investigate the case.
Following the official notifications, the CBI had registered a case under FIR no RC 5/S/2004-Kol u/s 364-A, 368, 400, 302 IPC.
Following investigation in the case, the CBI submitted its charge-sheet on December 28, 2007 to the court.