One of the two men arrested in the murder case of a senior police officer in Manipur’s border town Moreh has turned out to be the BJP treasurer of a district.
Hemkholal Mate was arrested from Moreh yesterday along with another accused Philip Khaikholal Khongsai in the murder case of Manipur Police officer Chingtham Anand Kumar.
The BJP has expelled Mate, who was the treasurer of the party’s Tengnoupal district unit, and also cancelled his membership.
Chingtham Anand was shot dead on October 31, 2023 while overseeing work on a helipad in Moreh, which comes under Tengnoupal, bordering Myanmar.
Mate is also the chief of K Moulsang village and finance secretary of the Mate Tribe Union.
“After calling an emergency executive committee of the party today, he (Mate) has been expelled from the primary membership of our party,” state BJP vice president N Nimbus Singh said.
“We will also conduct a comprehensive background check of all members and if any member of our party is found involved in criminal activities, we will take disciplinary action,” Mr Nimbus said.
The Manipur Police today in a post on X, formerly Twitter, said the two accused were taken to the office of the Moreh judicial magistrate, after which he was taken into police custody for nine days.
The two arrested persons namely (a) Philip Khaikholal Khongsai and (b) Hemkholal Mate who were apprehended yesterday (15.01.2024) by Manipur Police in Moreh were produced before the Judicial Magistrate, Moreh and have been remanded into police custody for 09 (nine) days….
— Manipur Police (@manipur_police) January 16, 2024
After Khongsai was arrested yesterday, many protesters had surrounded the Moreh police station and demanded the accused to be freed. They had alleged the police commandos have arrested innocent men.
The security forces have been fighting insurgents holed up in parts of Moreh in recent weeks.
The border town faces a constant pressure of illegal immigrants and refugees fleeing Myanmar’s junta, insurgents, looters, and drug traffickers.
Over 180 have died and thousands have been internally displaced after ethnic clashes broke out between the hill-majority Kukis and the valley-majority Meiteis in May 2023.