mob lynching
People shout anti-government slogans during a protest against what the demonstrators say are recent mob lynchings across the country, in Ahmedabad, India, July 23, 2018.REUTERS/Amit Dave/File photo

Five people have been arrested and a police officer has been suspended in connection with Manipur mob lynching case. Eight other prime accused are still on the run.

A 26-year-old resident of Thoubal district was lynched by a mob on September 13 in West Imphal's Tharoijam area on suspicion of stealing two-wheeler vehicles.

The five accused, arrested on September 17, have been booked under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and remanded to police custody for four days by a city court. An Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) constable is among the five people arrested.

A report in the Hindustan Times quoted Imphal West Superintendent of police (SP), Jogeschandra Haobijam, "Altogether, 13 persons involved in the unfortunate incident of lynching a youth have been identified. We will soon arrest the remaining individuals involved in the attack." He further said that stern action has been taken against some police officials for failing to contain the incident.

"Stringent action has been taken against four police personnel present at the incident spot. One Sub-Inspector has been suspended and the service of three Village Defence Force personnel has been terminated for failing to take required action during the incident and not providing timely medical aid to the victim," Haobijam added.

Four Manipur policemen, including a sub-inspector, have been suspended after videos of the incident showed their presence at the scene of the crime while the mob thrashed Khan brutally with sticks and kicked the almost lifeless body around.

Khan's family and locals had refused to bury him till action was taken against the accused.

The incident has triggered sharp condemnations and protests by scores of social activists and locals residing in the area. The Manipur Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognisance of the case and directed the Director General of Police to initiate an investigation into the matter and submit a report by September 22.

(With inputs from ANI)