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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 August, 2004, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Arrest threat for Manipur troops
Thangjam Manorama, whose rape and murder sparked the protests against federal anti-terror laws in Manipur
Manorama's bullet-riddled body was found by a roadside
The judge heading an inquiry into the rape and killing of a woman in India's north-eastern state of Manipur has threatened four soldiers with arrest.

The judge said the Assam Rifles troops would be detained if they did not appear before his inquiry by Thursday.

He is investigating the alleged rape and killing of Thangjam Manorama by soldiers last month.

The incident sparked violent protests and calls for a sweeping anti-terror law to be withdrawn.


The head of the inquiry commission, C Upendra, rejected a plea from the Assam Rifles to extend the deadline by a day.

Its soldiers have so far refused to co-operate with the commission on the grounds that it does not have jurisdiction over security personnel involved in counter-insurgency operations.

Manipur has been gripped by protests since the killing of Manorama.

Locals are demanding punishment for her killers and the withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

The act gives security forces sweeping powers they say they need to tackle separatists.

Manorama's family say soldiers took her from her home on 11 July.

A few hours later her mutilated and bullet-riddled body was found by a roadside.

The Assam Rifles say she was suspected of aiding separatists. They say soldiers shot her as she tried to escape, but have denied torture.

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