Imphal, Sep 15: A 26-year-old man has allegedly been lynched in Manipur's Imphal West district on the suspicion of stealing vehicles, a senior police officer said Saturday.
Five persons, including a havildar attached to the India Reserve Battalion (IRB), have been arrested in this connection, he said. A purported video of the assault went viral on social media.
"Two associates of the victim managed to escape the scene. A hunt is on to find those involved in the lynching," Imphal West Superintendent of Police Jogeshwar Haobijam told PTI.
The suspected car-lifter was assaulted at Thouroijam Awang Leikai area on Thursday. The accused succumbed to injuries on the way to hospital after a police team came to the spot and took control of the situation.
The mob also set afire a car suspecting that it was used by the associates of the lynched man. Police arrested five persons suspected to be involved in the lynching case from their residences on Friday. One of them is an IRB havildar who is the owner of a two-wheeler and the victim had allegedly tried to steal that from his garage, the SP said.
The five accused have been booked under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code and remanded to police custody for four days by a city court on Saturday.
The SP said the Cyber Crime Unit of the police was also trying to track down those who uploaded images and videos of the assault. The Manipur Human Rights Commission took up the case suo motu and directed the state director general of police to probe the matter and submit a report by September 22.
Locals of Thouroijam village gheraoed the Patsoi police station on Friday, demanding the release of the arrested persons. The mob also brick bated the policemen following which the police used lathis and teargas shells to disperse them, police sources said.