Imphal: The Session Judge, Imphal East, sentenced Monday two convicts—Ningombam Rome Meitei and Letkhosei Haokip—to life imprisonment for kidnapping and killing a schoolgirl in 2003.
Eight-year-old Lungnila Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Ngajokpa, a former State Minister, was kidnapped from outside her school at Sangaiprou, Imphal West, on November 4, 2003, and was murdered by a gang of some four people on November 12, 2003, despite the ransom demand being given. Her body was found inside a gunny bag in a ditch at Tera Sadokpam Leikai, Imphal West, Manipur.
Session Judge RK Memcha delivered justice for Elizabeth and convicted Ningombam Rome Meitei alias Michael alias Ramesh Singh alias Loyalakpa of Bashikhong and Letkhosei Haokip alias James Kuki alias Letsei alias Seiboi alias Seisei alias George alias James alias King. Two other accused, Thokchom Nando of Khangabok Part III and O Deben alias Arnold of Langthabal, died before the completion of the trial. Thokchom Nando, aka KCP Nando, was killed by UNLF, a major underground outfit on March 3, 2021.
Earlier, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a case on March 29, 2004, at the request of the Manipur government, and took over the investigation of FIR No. 181 (11) dated November 5, 2003, earlier registered at the Police Station Lamphel against unknown culprits.
After investigation, a charge sheet was filed on December 28, 2007, against four accused. During the trial, two accused expired.
During the sentencing hearing on Monday, Session Judge, Imphal West, W Tonen Meitei, heard the submission of the public prosecutor and counsels of the convicts.
The court opined that the judge did not find enough materials to put the case in the category of ‘rarest of the rare’. After taking all of this into consideration, the court sentenced Letkhosei Haokip alias James Kuki and N Rome Meitei to life imprisonment under sections 364A, 120-B, and 302 of the Indian Penal Code.
Further, the court recommended providing victim compensation under the Manipur Victim Compensation Scheme. With agency inputs