By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Jan 24: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Ex-Servicemen Cell convenor Laishram Rameshwor of Thoubal Kshetri Makha Ningombam Leirak was shot dead by unknown miscreants suspected to be underground militants at his residential gate at around 10.30 am today.
Soon after the incident, one of the alleged suspects was arrested by a team of Thoubal district police while the main suspect is stated to be on the run till the time of filing this report.
Laishram Rameshwor (55) s/o Nimai of Thoubal Kshetri Makha Ningombam Leirak was standing in front of his residential gate when two unknown miscreants suspected to be underground militants who came in a four-wheeler XUV without registration number shot him from very close range, sources informed.
After shooting the BJP Ex-Servicemen Cell convenor, the assailants left the scene hurriedly.
One bullet hit Rame-shwor on the lower part of the right side of his chest.
He was evacuated to Raj Medicity in critical condition but succumbed to the bullet injury in the casualty ward of the hospital in the afternoon.
The body has been kept at JNIMS morgue for post mortem and other legal formalities.
Soon after the incident, a team of Thoubal district police rushed to the spot and carried out a spot inquiry and recovered one empty case of .32 bullet.
On receiving information about the shooting, Thoubal district police teams swung into action and made hectic efforts to arrest the culprits.
After a hectic chase and intensive search for the XUV used in committing the crime, police managed to apprehend one Naorem Ricky Ponting alias Amu (24) s/o Kesho of Keinou Thongthak Maning Leikai, presently staying at Haobam Marak Irom Leikai.
It was however not spelt out from where he was arrested.
It was said that he was driving the four-wheeler XUV.
Police teams are searching the main suspect identi- fied as Ayekpam Keshorjit s/o (L) Kunjo of Haobam Marak Irom Leikai who allegedly shot dead the convener of the BJP Ex- Servicemen Cell.
Later late in the evening, Ayekpam Keshorjit gave himself up before the OC/Commando P Achouba of Imphal West police at the Commando Complex, said sources. One licensed .32 pistol with two magazines and nine .32 bullets were seized from him. A mobile handset was also seized from the accused.
A case has been registered at Thoubal police station under section 302 IPC against the arrested person for further investigation and necessary legal proceedings, informed the sources.
Briefing media persons at his office earlier in the day, Thoubal SP Jogeshchandra Haobijam said that police launched a massive manhunt to nab the culprits as soon as reports of shooting Laishram Rame-shwor by two men were received.
Police succeeded in seizing the Mahindra XUV which was used in committing the crime apart from apprehending its driver.
On questioning, the apprehended driver disclosed that the man who shot Rameshwor is one Ayekpam Keshorjit (44) s/o late Kunjo of Haobam Marak Leikai.
The SP appealed to Keshorjit’s family to persuade him to surrender.
Jogeshchandra also sought cooperation of the public towards police investigation of the murder case.
On the other hand, local people of Thoubal Kshetri Leikai staged a protest demonstration at the gate of Rameshwor’s residence.
They maintained that the body of Rameshwor would not be claimed until the main culprit is arrested. The protesters held placards which read as ‘Don’t commit violence in civilian areas’, ‘Punish the culprits’ etc.