Five village defence volunteers arrested for possessing arms released on bail, one not handed to family members

Imphal: NIA Court in Imphal has released on bail the five arrested persons, who have been claimed as village defence volunteers by people, on Friday.

However, one among them was not handed to his family.

The five persons were produced before the Court of Special Judge (NIA), Imphal East, at Cheirap Court complex in the heart of Imphal.

The production of the accused persons were conducted through video conferencing in the present law and order situation. The court’s ruling was ‘announced in the Open court’.

They were Moirangthem Anand Singh, 45, son of late M. Achou Singh of Singjamei Sorokhaibam Leikai; Athokpam Kajit alias Kishorjit, 39, son of A. Dhananjoy of Kongba Nongthombam Leikai;  Loukrakpam Michael Mangangcha alias Tolomu, 30, son of late L. Ibonton of Khurai Ahongei, Konthoujam Romojit Meitei, 28, son of K.

Meghajit of Sagolband Sayan; and Keisham Johnson, 35, late K. Ibomcha of Singjamei Sorokhaibam Leikai.

Moirangthem Anand was the one who was not handed to his family.

People has been agitating in Imphal and other parts of valley areas in the state to release them without any condition.

The brief fact of the case as per the court’s order is that the accused persons were arrested from Kongba Wangkhei road near Meitei Mayek School while conducting frisking and checking on September 19. The accused persons were driving one white Bolero vehicle coming from Wangkhei towards Irilbung. The five accused persons were found wearing camouflage dress. On searching the vehicle, one INSAS Rifle bearing no 18531215 having four magazine with 78 live rounds, one SLR rifle bearing no 58478 having three magazine with 50 live rounds and two. 303 Rifles bearing no. D91642 and E90617 with one) magazine each containing five live rounds in each magazine were found hiding inside the back seat.

The IO of the case cannot show strong prima facie case against all the accused persons for the commission of terrorist acts and prejudicial activities against the state attracting section 16 UA(P) Act and section 121-A of the IPC at present, the order mentioned.

The accused persons were released on bail on their furnishing a PR bond of Rs 50,000 with one surety of like amount with the conditions that the accused shall co-operate with the investigation, the accused shall make available before the investigating authority, the accused shall not influence prosecution witnesses and the accused shall not leave Manipur without prior permission of the Court. The accused persons were directed to appear before the IO of the case every 15 days as well.

People, largely women breaking the curfew restrictions gathered near the court complex demanding to release them while the hearing was held.

Groups of women waited in front of the gate of Imphal West Police station to recieve the released accused.

Four of them were handed to their families. However, Anand was not handed to the family member.

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