Imphal, Jan. 8: Forced out of their camp by the Manipur government, 10 former rebels today started weighing the option of taking up arms again.
“We do not want to take up arms again, but if the government continues to treat us like stray dogs, desperation may force us take up arms unwillingly. It is up to the government to avoid this situation,” an angry former rebel said.
The outburst came after police evicted them for the second time today in five days from the dog squad of police commando complex in the Minuthong area of Imphal city.
Police dismantled the huts where 10 inmates were sheltered with their families on Sunday. They were given shelter here about a decade back with the promise of recruitment in the state forces.
After a memorandum submitted to chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh on Tuesday failed to evoke any positive response, they launched an indefinite hunger strike yesterday at the dog squad unit.
A police team came this morning and destroyed the only shanty under which the surrendered militants were organising the fast.
“They pulled down the bamboo support and plastic roofing, threatening us that we could not stay here any longer. They also threw away our mats and cushions,” another former rebel said.
When this correspondent visited the place, a few of them were found huddled together in a corner of the dog squad seemingly at a loss what to do.
Broken bamboo sticks and the remains of huts were strewn all around.
A dog rummaged through the dirt littered around while a woman from the neighbourhood was seen collecting the bamboo sticks.
The former rebels sent their wives and children to safer places yesterday morning before the fast began.
“After surrender we were used by security forces and police. As a result we are on the wanted list of our former friends. We cannot go home either,” they said.
They said they would continue the hunger strike without any roof at the same place. But they could not say how long they would be able to continue.