The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Terror tag turns false

The seven youths from Manipur who were arrested on Friday on charges of being members of a militant outfit were released on Sunday.

The decision to release the youths, who were described as members of People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Prepak), was taken after a police team from Manipur gave a clean chit to them. The cops, who arrived on Saturday, gave it in writing that no cases were pending against the seven.

Police sources said the team from Manipur examined the youths throughout the day. After the clean chit, the police took the youths to Bankshal court from where they were released.

“The Manipuri youths were arrested on the basis of a tip-off from the military intelligence. We contacted our counterparts in Manipur and a team rushed here. The visiting officers examined them thoroughly and told us that none was wanted in any case,” said Rajeev Kumar, the special inspector-general of Special Task Force (STF).

The STF blamed the military intelligence for the goof-up. An army spokesperson at Fort William refused to comment. “We don’t have all information on the incident,” said the spokesperson.

The seven youths went to attend an auction of used cars of Border Roads Organisation. The STF personnel were reportedly told that since the vehicles were from Northeast and most of the bidders were from that region, members of Prepak — which had exploded a grenade in front of the Manipur chief minister’s house in Imphal — would be there to extort money.

Though the STF officers could not find any evidence of the youths extorting money, they picked them up.

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