Guwahati: Manipur Police have apprehended two suspects in the killing of Athuan Abonmai, former president of one of state’s most influential social groups, Zeliangrong Baudi (AMN).

The suspects have been identified as Ponthalung Panmei, 47, and Lanchapou Bosco Gonmei, 48, residents of Konthoujam Maning Tribal Colony and Langol Laimanai, respectively.

The accused were produced before the CJM Imphal West Judge, after which the duo was remanded to 9 days of judicial custody to further investigation.

The police had recovered a sledge hammer from the crime scene near Abonmai’s body and is suspected to be the murder weapon.

The marks on Abonmai’s body such as the deep cut on his head and other injuries reported are a clear indication of him being tortured prior to the gruesome murder, th police said.

Also read: Manipur tribal leader’s murder: Video shows abduction in police presence; 14 cops suspended

Protests broke out in Manipur demanding justice for the social activist after which Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh had admitted that the leader’s death could have happened due to lapses in security.

Manipur Congress had also issued a statement demanding that the DM and SP of the district concerned be sacked in 24 hours. They also demanded a judicial inquiry in the matter by no less than a sitting High Court judge.

The state Congress committee also demanded that the DGP of Manipur explain what led to the failure of non-responsiveness to the FIR lodged by Abonmai’s son at Lamphel Police Station.

Also read: Manipur: Tribal leader shot dead; Naga rights’ body condemns killing

The case was handed over to the NIA on September 26 after the state Home Department suspected the act to have been carried out by NSCN (IM) cadres, speculating tension between the bordering states.

Athuan Abonmai’s body was found on September 22 along the Tamenglong-Tamei road after two armed miscreants allegedly shot him in the head. 

Abonmai was abducted and killed 28 km from a public function in Tamenglong district where the CM was also present.

Also read: Won’t spare those involved in Abonmai’s murder: Manipur CM

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