Imphal, June 22: Police have made a breakthrough in the burglary case at the private residence of Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh after the arrest of two India Reserve Battalion (IRB) guards posted there.
The police said the two IRB personnel — O. Shamananda and Md Samir — both from Thoubal district, were being interrogated.
“After questioning the personnel posted at the house, we came to know that two of them were involved in the burglary. They were arrested and placed under suspension. Further questioning of the accused is on,” a police officer said.
Altogether 37 personnel of the 3rd India Reserve Battalion were guarding the house at the time of the incident.
All the guards were immediately replaced and shifted to the battalion headquarters in Thoubal district for questioning.
Ibobi Singh’s wife and MLA Landhoni Devi discovered the burglary when she visited the house, located at Athokpam in Thoubal district.
The house is always locked as the chief minister’s family stays at his official residence here.
The police have not disclosed what items were stolen from the house.
In another development, the police arrested a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) cadre who was involved in three bomb blasts in and around Imphal in the last month, including two explosions targeting immigrants.
The cadre identified as Ningthoujam Joykumar alias Joychand of Thoubal district, had planted an improvised explosive device (IED) along the Governor’s Road here on May 14.
A CRPF patrol party detected the bomb and the police subsequently recovered it. He was also involved in exploding an IED at Singjamei here on May 29, which killed three migrant workers and injuring 19 others, the police said.
Joykumar was also involved in the blast inside a laundry shop, owned by a migrant worker at Moirangkhom in Imphal on June 14, in which two passers-by were injured.
“A special investigation team was set up to find out those involved in the cases immediately after the Singjamei blast and they arrested Joykumar for his involvement a few days back,” a police officer said.
Joykumar, who works as a mechanic at a printing press on Governor’s Road, brought the explosives from Myanmar to Imphal, the police said.
A remote-controlled device used in the bomb blasts was recovered from him.
The police have arrested 55 militants and recovered 10 hand grenades, five pistols, a revolver and a detonator in counter-insurgency operations since May 29.
To deal with bomb attacks and extortion, an action plan has been drawn up for the Imphal municipal area involving 2,000 police commandos, civil police, Manipur Rifles and IRB personnel.