CHURACHANDPUR: A 13-year old boy from Bridge Street, Rengkai in Churachandpur was Thursday kidnapped by two suspected non-locals but he managed to escape from the clutches of his abductors although they had blindfolded him and tied his hands.
In a late development, the two suspects have been apprehended and are in the custody of police. Villagers of Rengkai stormed the police station with the intention of punishing the duo themselves. But, police personnel stopped them from going inside and reportedly resorted to firing tear gas shells to disperse them.
The boy Master Eric Zohmathuai was too traumatized and upset by the horrific experience to talk to the media. However, according to his father, Stephen Vanlalrum, his son went for jogging and while he was on his way back, at around 4:00 pm, two non-local men, as the boy reckoned from their conversation in Hindi, forcefully pushed him inside their white gray colour Maruti Omni van at a spot close to his home and drove to Khuga Dam side.
While they stop to relieve themselves and taking fresh air outside the vehicle, Eric took advantage of the drop in guard and managed to flee and reach Thingkangphai village where the people helped him to contact his father.
Family members and volunteers of Hmar Students Association, Rengkai branch went to the Churachandpur Police Station and filed a complaint yesterday night itself.
Regarding the incident the Joint Student Body, comprising of ZSF GHQ, KSO Churachandpur, HSA Joint HQ and MZP, Manipur, convened an emergency meeting on Friday and later called a press meet at ZSP office located at Lailam Veng where the kidnapping was condemned and gave a 24 hour deadline to the District Administration/ District Police (starting from 5 pm of July 3, 2020) to identify and apprehend the kidnappers failing which they will take up any form of agitations deemed appropriate.
In a press release the Joint Student Body Churachandpur said that they are never against non locals but said that it is gruesome that a non local or people from the mainland could be involved in kidnapping of a child. The students’ representatives announced that they will hold another round of meeting soon to deliberate on the issue of non locals.
The Joint Student Body Churachandpur also questioned how the kidnappers move freely undetected, right under the noses of security agencies, with a child tied up and blind folded in a vehicle when vehicular movement are strictly monitored due to Covid-19 restriction and only those with vehicular passes issued by the District Administration are allowed to move freely. It further noted that the incident is took place barely a kilometer from Churachandpur police station alleging that it shows the security personnel lack of alertness and preparedness.