Manipur violence: Triple murder of child, mother, aunt among cases handed over to CBI

The boy, Tonsing Hangsing, had mixed Kuki-Meitei parentage, with his mother being a Meitei and his father being Kuki

Violence-hit Manipur (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ @MangteC)
Violence-hit Manipur (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ @MangteC)


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will also investigate a case of a tragic triple murder where a seven-year-old boy, his mother, and aunt were burned alive by a mob in June during ethnic clashes in Manipur.

The boy, Tonsing Hangsing, had mixed Kuki-Meitei parentage, with his mother being a Meitei and his father being Kuki.

Initially, the local police were handling this case, but it has now been handed over to the CBI along with a total of 20 other cases.

In June, the boy sustained a gunshot wound to the head. While his mother, Meena Hangsing, and his aunt, Lydia Lourembam, were taking him to a hospital in the state capital in an ambulance, the vehicle was attacked by a mob and set on fire. 

Tonsing  was residing in a relief camp when he sustained an injury from a bullet that rebounded off an iron pillar. Sources reveal that a group of armed individuals from the "majority community" in the northeastern state targeted the camp.

In response, a senior army officer promptly contacted the Imphal Superintendent of Police to arrange safe passage for the boy's hospital transfer. As a precaution, it was decided that only his mother and aunt, who were part of the "majority community," would accompany him. At the Imphal border, the army handed them over to the police escort and the ambulance. Unfortunately, the convoy was intercepted by a crowd of around 2,000 people, according to officials.

Despite the police firing shots in the air, the angry mob attacked them. The driver of the ambulance and a nurse, who was also there, managed to escape, but the mob set the vehicle on fire. The boy's mother and aunt pleaded with the attackers, but their mob set the ambulance ablaze with them still inside.

Two separate FIRs were filed in connection with this case. One was filed by the police at Lamphel station, while the other was lodged by the boy's father, Joshua Hangsing, at Kangpokpi police station. The Lamphel police filed the case under sections related to murder, while the Kangpokpi police station registered it under the charge of attempting to commit culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

In the FIR registered at the Lamphel station, the police noted the presence of the Imphal West's Superintendent of Police at the scene. The FIR stated that shots were fired into the air to disperse the mob. Tragically, the boy and the two others (his mother and aunt) in the ambulance were attacked and subsequently killed by the mob. The FIR mentioned that the ambulance, along with its occupants, was later set on fire at Iroisemba.

Violence erupted between the Kuki and Meitei communities following a 'Tribal Solidarity March' held in the hill districts to oppose the Meitei community's request for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. The clashes resulted in the loss of over 160 lives and left hundreds injured.

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Published: 21 Aug 2023, 8:27 AM