Imphal, April 25: The Assam Rifles today claimed to have busted a major “recruitment racket” of the militant Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) after arresting four of its cadres during a two-day operation with the help of Imphal East police.
The operation, which concluded yesterday, came ahead of President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to the city on April 29. Troops of 16 Assam Rifles first apprehended a KCP cadre, Naocha Potsangbam, from Imphal East district during the initial stage of the operation. During interrogation, he disclosed the names of three other cadres of the group, including a woman, who were involved in recruiting cadres.
Based on information provided by Naocha, the Assam Rifles, with the help of the police, apprehended three persons identified as Chabungbam Nobin alias Sathiba, 27, his brother-in-law Itocha, 50, and Kamla Devi, 47, from Lamboikhul Makha Leikai under Sagolmang police station of Imphal East district. Naocha himself had been recruited by Nobin and Kamla Devi. Nobin told interrogators that he was in contact with a son of Kamla Devi. This son, an active KCP cadre, is staying in the outfit’s camp in Myanmar at present.
The Assam Rifles has handed over all four to Sagolmang police station.
Official sources said militant groups have started recruiting cadres in the valley again after a lull. They could not do so in the past couple of years because of sustained pressure from security forces and the police.
Following reports of the recruitment drive, the security forces launched search operations in Imphal valley in the past few weeks. During one such operation, the army apprehended a cadre of the Kangleipak Communist Party (Military Council) from Bishnupur town in Bishnupur district on April 19. The army recovered a hand grenade and a cell phone from the cadre, identified as Akhom Herojit Singh, 30. He is now in the custody of Bishnupur police, the army said.
The police have also launched search operations around Manipur University at Canchipur in Imphal West district ahead of the President’s visit. Mukherjee will attend the 14th convocation of the university on April 29.
“We have tightened security around the university. We have conducted raids and carried out frisking in view of the President’s visit,” a senior police officer said. The Maoist Communist Party, Manipur, has boycotted the President’s visit.