Murdered ex-Armyman’s 10-yr-old saw dad’s abduction in Manipur, gave chase: ‘I couldn’t do anything’

Imphal: In Imphal’s Tarung area, a 10-year-old stands guard at the window of his home, clutching a toy — a unicorn soft toy — gifted by his father. His vigilant gaze fixed on the gate, the boy seems to be waiting for someone. Each time a figure approaches, he eagerly calls out to his mother.

Despite his composed exterior, the boy appears unsettled.

On 16 September, around 10 am, his father Serto Thangthang Kom (41), a Defence Security Corps sepoy, was abducted at gunpoint from the porch of the house and taken away in a white car.

The boy, a witness, watched helplessly, cried for help and even attempted to chase the vehicle, but couldn’t do anything. A day later, Kom’s body was found at Khuningthek village, east of Mongjam, with a gunshot wound in the head.

The child now carries a burden of guilt, his mother Somiwom says. Standing at the window, he somewhere hopes his father will return.

“The man came with a small gun. His face was covered with a handkerchief,” the 10-year-old recalled.

murdered ex-armyman’s 10-yr-old saw dad’s abduction in manipur, gave chase: ‘i couldn’t do anything’

Somiwom with her and Serto Thangthang Kom’s son and daughter | Praveen Jain | ThePrint

Somiwom with her and Serto Thangthang Kom’s son and daughter | Praveen Jain | ThePrint

“He put the pistol to my father’s head and took him. Two more people were waiting outside, they were wearing black and green clothes and a round hat. Their faces were also covered. I ran inside to tell my mother, then ran outside to chase the car, but they took him,” he said, before adding in a feeble tone. “I couldn’t do anything.”

Since the police have not yet been able to identify the assailants, it is unclear whether the abduction and killing were part of the ongoing conflict between the Kukis and Meiteis in Manipur. Over 200 people have died since the violence began on 3 May.

According to a police source, there are several potential factors that may have led to Kom’s murder.

One possibility, the source said, is that he was suspected of sharing information about underground groups or had proximity with a community engaged in the current conflict, which would have made him a target. His death might also be linked to a “personal dispute”, the source added.

“We are probing all angles,” the police source said. “It is unlikely that this killing is directly connected to the current unrest because he was neither a Kuki nor a Meitei, but it is possible that he may be closer to one community, which the other did not approve of. However, at this stage, nothing definitive can be said,” the source added.

According to a source in the security establishment, Kom — of 474B, DSC platoon — was attached to the 302 Company in Leimakhong.

The DSC comprises former service personnel who are re-employed in the military for a few more years. Its role is to provide security cover to defence installations of the three services and civil establishments of the Ministry of Defence.

“He (Kom) retired from the Army in 2018 and was re-inducted in the Defence Security Corps in 2019. He had been on leave and was supposed to join work on 17 September,” an Army officer said. “The Indian Army strongly condemns the killing and stands by his family in these difficult times.”


Kom’s wife is perplexed. Her husband’s death has not yet sunk in.

“He did not have any enemy. He never got into any fight. He was not even part of this ongoing crisis in any way, then why would anyone do this to him? Just because he was with the Army?” Somiwom asked.

“I don’t understand what is happening. How can he just die like that, leaving me with the kids?” she added.

After Kom’s abduction, Somiwom first called her mother, who then informed the police and the Army. She even went to the adjoining villages, enquiring about him and the car he was taken in, but to no avail.

“All day, I kept waiting for a phone call, a message that would give me some information about him. I got a call the next day, but it was to tell me about his demise,” she said. “Someone just shot him in the head and left him to die in the bushes.”

“He had come on leave because I was unwell. He was supposed to join back work today,” she said, speaking to ThePrint Sunday.

murdered ex-armyman’s 10-yr-old saw dad’s abduction in manipur, gave chase: ‘i couldn’t do anything’

Somiwom shows a photograph of her and Serto Thangthang Kom with their two children | Praveen Jain | ThePrint

Somiwom shows a photograph of her and Serto Thangthang Kom with their two children | Praveen Jain | ThePrint

Kom’s postmortem examination was conducted on 17 September, and the body will be handed over to the family by Monday evening for his last rites.

At her home, as Somiwom’s mother asks her to make arrangements for Kom’s last rites, she sits on a couch with her 12-year-old daughter, holding on to a family portrait. Her fingers trace the photograph at regular intervals. There are no tears in her eyes, just a steady gaze, fixed on the photo.

“Why did this happen?” she said. “I just wish this is a dream.”

(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)

News Related


Hot weather expected on Monday

DOHA: The Department of Meteorology has issued a weather advisory for Monday, forecasting hot and dusty conditions inshore until 6pm. Offshore, the weather is expected to be fine. Inshore, residents ... Read more »

South Africa and Tonga share moment of solidarity in group huddle

South Africa  edged towards the World Cup quarter finals by beating Tonga They picked up a bonus point after scoring seven tries in the 49-18 victory The game ended with ... Read more »

Toyota Chairman Thinks $167K Century SUV Will "Suit Younger People"

2024 Toyota Century SUV He also thinks it will attract people who are not fans of the sedan. Last month, Toyota did the unthinkable by turning the Century into an ... Read more »

Night fever rocks Emirates Golf Club’s famed Faldo Course

Left to right: winners of the EGC Midnight Madness Naranj Sangal, Rohit Malhotra, James Jackson and Oliver Ravenscroft. – Supplied photo Anytime is a good time to play golf as ... Read more »

Dua for healing from breast cancer

ALBAWABA In times of illness and adversity, many turn to prayer for solace, strength, and healing. Breast cancer is a challenging and often life-altering condition that affects numerous individuals and ... Read more »

6 fantastic things to do in Abu Dhabi this week: October 2 to 5

abu dhabi night skyline FB October, here we come… You wait all month for something to happen, and it happens, and then you wonder what to do with your life ... Read more »

Amin Maalouf, a Traveler with Many Wounds

Amin Maalouf’s soul carries many wounds. He is Lebanese. The son of an unstable country, which was the product of a marriage between small nations and conflicting views. He was ... Read more »

Pakistani actress Mahira Khan weds businessman Salim Karim in intimate ceremony

Mahira Khan and Salim Karim got married on Sunday. @anushaytkhan / Instagram Pakistani actress Mahira Khan and Salim Karim tied the knot on Sunday, in an intimate clifftop ceremony in ... Read more »

Gandhi Jayanti: A look inside India's stunning Gandhi museum in Gujarat

Monday marks Gandhi Jayanti, an annual Indian national holiday celebrating Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. To mark the occasion, The National visited Dandi Kutir, a museum in Gujarat devoted to the lawyer ... Read more »

Andersson clinches second world title with victory in Sardinia

Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al Qemzi competes in the Regione Sardegna Grand Prix of Italy. – Supplied photo Sweden’s Jonas Andersson clinched the UIM F1H2O World Championship for the second ... Read more »

School dress code debate: Is policing the way parents dress for pick-up necessary?

Anna Durrani could not believe her eyes when she saw a woman wearing a see-through mesh dress at the school gate one day. At another time, but in the same ... Read more »

Asian Games: Dubai’s Lahiri finds the going ‘tough’ at teeming West Lake golf course in China

Dubai-based Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri. – Supplied photo Dubai-based Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri admitted that he did not ‘capitalize’ on his chances as he finished tied for 12th at the ... Read more »

'Rajas-Maharajas Sold Themselves But...': Digvijaya's Veiled Dig At Jyotiraditya Scindia

‘Rajas-Maharajas Sold Themselves But…’: Digvijaya’s Veiled Dig At Jyotiraditya Scindia BHOPAL: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, a rival of Jyotiraditya Scindia in Madhya Pradesh politics, on Sunday claimed “Rajas and Maharajas” ... Read more »

Beckham Defends Qatar World Cup Partnership, Says He Has "No Regrets"

Beckham Defends Qatar World Cup Partnership, Says He Has “No Regrets” David Beckham has defended his decision to work with Qatar to promote the 2022 World Cup, saying he believes ... Read more »

Are the alien remains presented to the Mexican Congress an elaborate hoax?

With their unusually shaped heads and tiny bodies, the supposed aliens shown recently to the Mexican Congress are like less cuddly versions of the eponymous main character from Steven Spielberg’s ... Read more »

Did you know Anupriya Goenka didn't get calls for 6 months post Tiger Zinda Hai, Padmaavat and War's success?

Did you know Anupriya Goenka didn’t get calls for 6 months post Tiger Zinda Hai, Padmaavat and War’s success? Anupriya Goenka is gearing up for her upcoming web series, Disney+ ... Read more »

Rivian R1T Inventory Shop Goes Live, Delivery Time As Low As 1 Week

2022 Rivian R1T Prospective customers can also order a custom configuration that can take as much as four months to complete. Rivian has officially opened its online inventory shop where ... Read more »

At least 11 killed in Spanish nightclub fire

A fire at a Spanish nightclub on Sunday morning has killed at least 11 people, authorities said, with rescue efforts still continuing. Firefighters were continuing to work at the scene ... Read more »

Meet 'Sabziwala' who cracked UPSC in 80's, took voluntary retirement as IAS officer after 34 years due to…

Meet 'Sabziwala' who cracked UPSC in 80's, took voluntary retirement as IAS officer after 34 years due to… One of the toughest exams to crack to become an Indian IAS ... Read more »

Gunman in Rotterdam shootings has troubled past, police reveal

A medical student suspected of shooting three people dead in Rotterdam has a history of psychotic behaviour and is likely to have targeted his victims intentionally, Dutch police and prosecutors ... Read more »

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Kumar Sanu opens up on politics in Bollywood; ‘Top heroes have a personal…’

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Kumar Sanu opens up on politics in Bollywood; ‘Top heroes have a personal…’ Indian playback singer Kumar Sanu is renowned for his substantial contributions to the music industry, ... Read more »

Brazil’s Lula undergoes hip surgery ‘without complications’: doctor

Brasília: Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is awake and recovering from hip surgery on Friday, which his doctor said went off without a hitch. “The surgery went without ... Read more »

Top US military officer steps down with 'wannabe dictator' swipe at Trump

Gen Mark Milley stepped down on Friday as the US military’s top officer, with a parting swipe aimed at his former boss Donald Trump, saying no soldier ever swore an ... Read more »

UAE leaders congratulate Emir of Kuwait on third anniversary of his accession to power

ABU DHABI, 30th September, 2023 (WAM) — President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a message of congratulations to His Highness Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, ... Read more »

“Super-slow” Quartararo despondent after woeful Yamaha sprint

Quartararo led home the Yamaha charge as he dropped one place from his grid slot of 14th, having failed to escape the first part of qualifying earlier in the day. ... Read more »

Study reveals which Zoom backgrounds make you look the most competent and trustworthy

A new study from Durham University in the UK has revealed which backgrounds will make you appear more reliable on video calls. Recently published in the journal PLOS One, research ... Read more »

Ningbo Open: Jabeur wins trophy

Ningbo Open: Jabeur wins trophy 30/09/2023 09:26, TUNIS/Tunisia (TAP)-Top seed Ons Jabeur, on Saturday night, won the Ningbo Open final by defeating Russian Diana Shnaider 6-2, 6-1. In the previous ... Read more »

Bybit and Max Verstappen Extend Grand Prix Triumph with Unforgettable Fan Celebration in Japan

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Media OutReach – 29 September 2023 – Bybit, the world’s third most visited crypto exchange, is thrilled to have invited fans to an unforgettable experience ... Read more »

Asiad shooting: Sarabjot-Divya win silver in 10m air pistol mixed team event

Hangzhou, Sept. 30 — Indian shooters Sarabjot Singh and Divya TS bagged silver in the 10m air pistol mixed team shooting event at the Asian Games 2023 here on Saturday. ... Read more »

Brooks Koepka and Scottie Scheffler humiliated, take worst Ryder Cup loss in 96-year history

Brooks Koepka during Saturday morning foursomes at the 2023 Ryder Cup. Brooks Koepka and Scottie Scheffler put forth one of the worst performances of their careers on Saturday morning at ... Read more »
Kênh kiến thức kỹ năng, phát triển bản thân, hướng nghiệp, blog nhân sự