Five cadres from three different insurgent groups were arrested with arms and ammunition as police and security forces in Manipur intensified security measures in view of the ensuing polls.
Three of the arrested cadres belonged to the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) and one each to Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) and Kangleipak Communist Party (People’s War Group), official sources said.
The three UNLF cadres were apprehended by a combined team of 15 Assam Rifles and Imphal West police commandos in separate operations in Imphal area last night.
The apprehended cadres were identified as Sanasam Shyamsal Meitei alias Nanao (30) of Hiyanthang, RK Solomon alias Amon Singh (47) of Thangmeiband, and Waikhom Nganglentomba Meitei alias Gogo (47) of Thangmeiband Kabrabam Leikai.
Two Glock pistols with a magazine each loaded with 23 live rounds and 17 live rounds each were recovered from them, the source said.
The combined team conducted the operation based on reliable information regarding presence of some active members of the UNLF in the said areas.
Police said that one of the arrested cadres, Solomon disclosed that he started working for the UNLF outfit under the command of SS Major Richard alias Somen of Thangmeiband Sinam Leikai, presently staying at Myanmar since 2021 and other two are working under him.
Further Solomon disclosed that in the month of October 2021 he went to Myanmar to meet his commander SS Major Richard and was handed over the above recovered pistols to him and instructed him to use it as and when required.
The arrested cadres and recovered articles have been handed over to Imphal police station for necessary action, the source added.
One active cadre of KCP(PWG) was also apprehended by a joint team of Imphal East police commandos and troops of 16 Assam Rifles on random frisking and checking duty at Pangei under Heingang police station of Imphal East district around 7pm on Thursday.
The apprehended cadre was identified as Mangsatabam Romesh Meitei alias Tonjao (18) of Luwangshangbam Awang Leikai.
One .32 pistol loaded with three live rounds in a magazine, two Chinese made hand grenades and two demand letters of KCP (PWG) signed by its finance chief Wanglemba Meitei were recovered from his possession.
The police alleged that the arrested was directly involved in the extortion of money at various areas of Imphal east district. He joined the said outfit through one Kiran alias Rajesh of KCP (PWG) and presently working under his command.
He came to serve monetary demand letters to various local shops and brick fields in the Pangei area, the police added.
The arrested person was handed over to Heingang police station for further necessary legal procedures, the source added.
In yet another operation, a team of Imphal West police commandos arrested an active cadre of KYKL from Tharoijam Bazar crossing under Patsoi police station of Imphal West district around 12.40 pm on Friday.
The nabbed cadre was identified as Wahengbam Momocha Singh (34) of Heirangoithong, currently residing at Taothong Leikai.
The cadre admitted that he started working for the KYKL in the year 2021 under the command of SS finance secretary of the outfit and engaged in the collection of money as party fund from general public, private schools, private establishments etc.
The police said that he was arrested twice earlier as an active member of KCP (Noyon) and PREPAK (Pro) in the year 2017 and 2020 respectively.
The arrested person was handed over to Patsoi police station for further necessary action, the source said.
Police and security forces in the state have been conducting an intensified counter insurgency operation across Manipur as insurgents are likely to carry out prejudicial activities to disturb the peaceful conduct of the ensuing polls.
Manipur will go to polls in two phases to elect 60 members of the state Assembly. The first phase will witness polling in 38 Assembly segments on 27 February, while voting in the remaining 22 seats will be held on March 3.
The counting of votes in the state will be done by the EC on 10 March.