Village chief who opposed Poppy cultivation shot dead

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Imphal: Chief of Naphai village in Saikul block of Manipur’s Kangpokpi district, Zehlem Khongsai, who opposed Poppy cultivation in the village, was shot dead on late Monday by four suspected insurgents.

The 57 years old Jilhem was sleeping when the unknown persons came to his residence. The miscreants took him outside at around 11.30 pm Monday, according to his wife Chinneilhing.

Sounds of gunshots were heard twice after he was taken outside the house. When her family rushed outside, Zilhem was found lying on the ground.

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He was rushed to Saikul Saikul community centre and succumbed to his injuries at around 1.15 am. He was shot on his chest.

Jilhem had issued a notification in May end to prevent poppy cultivation in his area in support of the state government’s initiative against poppy cultivation.

Jilhem is survived by his wife, four daughters and four sons.

Post-mortem examination of the body has been conducted. The family members declined to get the body which was deposited at RIMS mortuary. The family members demanded the government to arrested the killers within two days.

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A public meeting was held Khongsai Veng in Imphal East on Tuesday which decided not to collect the body.

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