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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 November, 2003, 10:47 GMT
Manipur curfew after child murder
A curfew has been imposed in Imphal, the capital of Manipur in north-eastern India, following the murder of a state government minister's daughter.

The body of the seven-year-old girl was discovered in a marsh near her school in Manipur state.

Separatist militants are suspected to have carried out the killing.

Elizabeth, the daughter of Francis Ngajokpa, Manipur state General Administration Minister, was kidnapped a week ago by unidentified assailants.

The kidnappers had demanded one million rupees ($22,000) as ransom.

It is not clear whether any money was paid to the kidnappers but police say negotiations were reported between the militants and the minister's family.


The girl was found dead late on Wednesday.

Her head was stuffed into a gunny bag, with the body left to rot at a low marshy land not far from where she was kidnapped.

"We are yet to identify the group behind the killing," a police spokesman is quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency.

The BBC's Subir Bhaumik in Calcutta reports that the Kuki National Front, earlier blamed for the abduction, has denied any involvement.

The state's chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh had promised to do everything to find the killers but tension began to rise after the body was found.

The administration has now imposed a curfew in response.

Manipur is one of seven states in India's remote north-east, an area where more than a dozen separatist groups have been fighting against the Indian authorities.

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