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Imphal, Manipur – September 28, 2023 – Heartbreaking details have emerged about the tragic fate of a Meitei couple who seemingly paid a devastating price for ignoring advice to return to a safer area amidst the ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur. The couple, whose photos emerged recently after the restoration of mobile internet services in the region, appears to have fallen victim to the civil war-like situation that has gripped Manipur for the past five months.
The Manipur Police’s preliminary findings indicate that the couple, identified as Hemanjit Singh and a 17-year-old girl with whom he was in a relationship, had eloped on July 6, 2023. Their journey led them to a Kuki-controlled village in the midst of the ethnic violence that has ravaged the region.
According to the police report, it was in this Kuki-controlled village that armed militants noticed the couple, abducted them, and subsequently transported them to an undisclosed location before executing them. The tragic incident underscores the extreme volatility and perilous circumstances that have engulfed Manipur during the protracted period of ethnic unrest.
The couple’s ill-fated journey was marked by several significant events leading up to their untimely demise. They were first sighted near a stone quarry close to Laika before reaching Jouzangtek. Hemanjit Singh, at around 8 am, had picked up the teenage girl from her tuition center located in Keishampat Mutum Leikhai, situated in Imphal.
Tragically, the chain of events took a sinister turn as the police received a complaint from the girl’s father, alleging that his daughter had been forced into a relationship and marriage against her will. Consequently, the police filed a case of abduction against Hemanjit Singh, further deepening the complexities surrounding their ill-fated journey.
The police report also revealed that the couple had left on a motorbike and, at one point, stopped to take selfies near the stone quarry. This seemingly ordinary act inadvertently placed them in the crosshairs of a perilous situation in the midst of the ongoing ethnic violence.
It is with a heavy heart that the details of this tragic story come to light, underscoring the devastating consequences that the escalation of ethnic tensions can have on innocent lives. The plight of the Meitei couple serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for peace, reconciliation, and safety in the strife-torn region of Manipur. As the region grapples with its turbulent past, it is hoped that stories like this will inspire efforts to ensure a peaceful and secure future for all its inhabitants.