Photographs showing the dead bodies of two students who had been reported missing have surfaced on social media, shedding light on a disturbing incident in the violence-stricken state of Manipur, India. The victims have been identified as Hijam Linthoingambi, a 17-year-old female, and Phijam Hemjit, a 20-year-old male, who disappeared in July. The images, believed to have been taken on July 8, emerged online after the months-long internet ban in Manipur was lifted last week.
One of the photos depicts the two students sitting in a grassy compound resembling a makeshift jungle camp, with armed men standing nearby. Another picture shows the lifeless bodies of the two students on the ground, with the male victim’s head missing. The Manipur government has pledged “swift and decisive” action against those responsible for the alleged abduction and killing of the students, and the case has been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The Chief Minister’s Office of Manipur released a statement expressing their commitment to ensuring justice prevails and imposing severe punishment on the perpetrators. Investigators are also looking into allegations of rape against the minor girl before her death. The state of Manipur has been plagued by violence since ethnic clashes erupted between the Kuki tribe and the Meiteis community in May. The clashes were triggered by a high court order to consider including the non-tribal Meitei community on the list of Scheduled Tribes, leading to protests and violence resulting in the deaths of over 180 people and the displacement of thousands.
The two students belonged to the Meitei community and were allegedly kidnapped and killed. The father of the male victim confirmed that his son was wearing the same clothes seen in the viral pictures on the day he went missing.