Just days after a 26-year-old man was lynched at a village near Manipur's Imphal, state police have suspended four policemen after a purported video of the incident indicated that armed police personnel were present in the village during the incident.
An inquiry has also been ordered.
Meanwhile, five people have been arrested so far, and the hunt is on for the absconding.
The victim was lynched on suspicion of theft
On September 14, 26-year-old Mohammad Farooque Khan, who hailed from the Thoubal district was lynched at the Tharoijam village in the Imphal West district.
He was lynched by a mob on the suspicion that he had stolen a two-wheeler between 3am and 4am on September 13.
Khan, an MBA, was described as an entrepreneur who ran a restaurant, and produced packed fried-meat items.
Police were present but did nothing to help Khan
Several videos of the incident surfaced on social media.
Among them, one video showed at least three armed police personnel around Khan, who was still alive then, lying in a field and moving slightly. However, the police personnel did nothing to help Khan.
Another video of the barbaric incident showed Khan asking for water in his last moments, and being mocked and denied.
What we know about the police's presence in the village
Police personnel had been sent to the village after police received information about the lynching. However, police vehicles were blocked by locals, and personnel had to proceed on foot, reports IE.
"A proper enquiry needs to be done — we cannot come to any conclusion from seeing a few seconds of video as to what was their role," said a senior police official.
The suspensions comes after a memorandum was signed
Notably, the suspensions come after the Joint Action Committee formed against the lynching met Chief Minister N Biren Singh and signed a memorandum of agreement with the government.
Among other things, the memorandum requires the state government to "suspend the erring police personnel who were on duty...immediately".
The memorandum also mandates that inquiries should be completed within a month.