CBI tightens noose in Elizabeth's case
Charge sheets framed against 4 accused
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 03: After over three years of intense investigation in an atmosphere far from being conducive, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed charge-sheets against four persons accused in the kidnap and murder of Baby Lungnila Elizabeth before the Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal today.

The accused named in the CBI chargesheets include Thokchom Nando Singh (25) of Khangabok Part-III, Ningombam Rome Meitei (35) of Bashikhong, Okram Deben (28) of Langthabal and the prime accused Letkhosei Haokip alias James Kuki (34).

A file photo of Lungnila Elizabeth

The CBI had a torrid time in claiming custody of the prime accused as he was detained by the NSCN (IM) before being arrested on June 10, 2007 from Dimapur, the commercial capital of Nagaland.

Even though the CBI is informed to have named another accused identified as Sorokhaibam Surjit Singh in the kidnap and murder case, legal proceedings could not be initiated against the individual after unknown persons had slain him.

It is worth mentioning that following widespread unrest in the State soon after the corpse of the then Education Minister Francis Ngajokpa's daughter was found tucked inside a sack on November 12, 2003 in a highly decomposed state, the State Government roped in the services of the CBI to unravel the case.

She was kidnapped by some miscreants from near the gate of her school on November 4, the same year.

The CBI chargesheet is said to have named Th Nando and O Deben as members of the banned Kangleipak Communist Party, with Letkhosei Haokip and Rome Meitei labelled as Kuki National Front activists.

Detailing its finding, the CBI mentioned that from the total amount of Rs 15 lakhs demanded as ransom money for release of the then eight year old school girl, the accused persons collected Rs 10 lakh from the premises of Government Polytechnic with the other instalment received at Wangoi area. Lungnila was already dead when the ransom amount was allegedly collected.

Regarding cause of death, the chargesheet cited medical examination report of Lungnila being killed within five to ten days of her kidnapping.

Possibility of the criminals committing felony after subjecting the girl child to severe form of torture is not ruled out as the medical report mentioned injuries in her private parts, the chargesheet added in addition to framing the four accused under various sections related to criminal conspiracy.

In their presentation, the CBI, special Crime Branch, Kolkata prayed before the Court that in cognizance of these offences they be tried as per law.

It is said that as many as 74 witnesses including the murdered child's parents among others testified before the CBI.

Advocate Chandrajit Sharma, appearing on behalf of the CBI, said the court might fix a day for hearing the charges against the four accused.