The great NH-39 chase was a wild goose chase
Home of accused Th Nando ransacked, expelled from locality, police foil arson attempt

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 09: It is now official.

The great chase that was conducted by committed members of the Langol Palem Thoudang Lup along NH-39 in hot pursuit of the prime accused in the killing of Elizabeth, James Kuki alias Letsei Haokip alias Semboi was nothing more than a wild goose chase, though the sequence of events that unfolded on the highway on January 7 was true to the hilt.

Even as the true picture emerged, infuriated local people of Khangabok gathered today evening and ransacked the house of Th Nando, who is currently in custody.

As it turned out, the pursuing team was after the wrong man and the man in fact gave them the slip as reported in The Sangai Express on the January 9 edition.

The truth came to light when vigilant public of Makhan village apprehended a man loitering at the village last night at around 11.The man was attired in a red T shirt as reported and yes he had switched buses before alighting at Makhan ostensibly to shake off his "pursuers".

Speaking to The Sangai Express, a well placed source on condition of anonymity, said that the suspect picked up by the villagers of Makhan is in fact a sergeant of the NSCN (IM).

He had switched buses on the way after he saw all the passenger buses being stopped and checked at Kangpokpi.

At Makhan the arrival of police commandos did it and the IM cadre alighted from the bus and disappeared into the hills only to re-emerge in the night before he was apprehended by the villagers.

The man is identified as M Yangmi Tangkhul alias Stephen (30) son of M Peter of Muirei village, formerly Joyland village of Ukhrul district under Lamlai police station.

As the truth unfolded, it is learnt that Yangmi booked a ticket on the Network Travels and his seat number was 12.However on seeing the large scale search conducted on buses along the highway, he started switching buses under the impression that the police was after him! The error in the great chase obviously started at the North AOC when one of the booking clerks wrongly identified the man when the Lup members from Langol showed the photo of James at the booking counters! Speaking to The Sangai Express the DC of Senapati T Panmei said that the identity of the man has been established and it is confirmed that he is not James Kuki as earlier suspected.

A team from Imphal also arrived at Senapati and confirmed that the man in custody is not James, he said.

Yangmi has been handed over to the public said the DC adding that he will be produced if he is found in any way to be connected to the murder of Lungnila Elizabeth.

Senapati police did a commendable job in quickly getting in touch with all the concerned and getting his identity established as soon as Yangmi was handed over to them by Mao police.

The public too acted with constraint and nothing went out of hand.

As to the allegations raised by the Langol body that the Senapati police did not co-operate, the DC said that it is baseless and maintained that the police did stop all the vehicles as asked.

Meanwhile infuriated local people of Khangabok Part III gathered today evening and ransacked the house of Th Nando, who has been named as one of the accused in the murder of Lungnila Elizabeth.

Police personnel had to open blank fire and fire tear gas shells to disperse the mob when they tried to set the house on fire.

A public meeting organised by the local meira paibi lups and voluntary organisations of the area was convened today at 3 pm at the ground of Diamond Club to discuss the matter.

As the meeting was in progress a mob built up and the house of Nando was ransacked.

As attempts were being made to torch the house a police team arrived on the scene and fired in the air to disperse the crowd.

A brief confrontation occurred between the enraged residents of the area and the police, though there is no report of any injuries caused to the local residents.

The meeting decided unanimously to expel Nando and his family members from the locality as well as to expel any family found offering shelter to the family members of Nando.