Seven militants including a top leader were arrested and huge money and explosive materials were seized during search operations at different places in Manipur, the police said today.
Acting on a tip-off, personnel of Narcotics and Affairs of Border (NAB) and police commandos launched a massive search operation and frisking at Yaingangpokpi area in Imphal East district, sources said adding that two cadre of Kuki National Army (KNA) were arrested yesterday.
Self-styled wing commander of KNA Letkhosei Haokip (37) and private Paokhulun Haokip (25) were arrested during frisking at Yaingangpokpi area, sources said adding that at least Rs. 9 lakhs and one 9 mm pistol along with some rounds of ammunitions were seized from them.
KNA, which has been demanding a separate 'Kukiland' by breaking Manipur, had signed suspension of operation (SOO) along with representatives of state and central governments some years ago for starting a formal peace talks with the government, sources said adding that under the SOO agreement, KNA activists were supposed to stop extortion from public and banned carrying of arms.
Sources said it was not known why they carried Rs. 9 lakhs along with the arms and they were supposed to confine themselves at Chasad camp in Ukhrul district before beginning a formal talks with the government.
Stating that police would investigate from where they got Rs 9 lakh and why they were carrying arms, sources said if the KNA violated the SOO agreement, the government would consider what steps would be taken in the next few days.
In another incident yesterday, police commandos attached to Thoubal police station launched a massive manhunt at Heirok area in the district and arrested three cadres of militant outfit People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak-Progressive (PREPAK-P), sources said.
The three, identified as Thokchom Janel Singh (28), Laishram Ibungo (36) and Laishram Maimu (34), sources said adding that following their interrogation, commandos went to a particular house and recovered 17 China-make powerful handgrenades.
The handgrenades were given to the three by the self-styled district commander of PREPAK-P identified as Moirangthem Inaobi alias Rocky (32), sources said adding that the explosive materials were meant to be used at the places of those who refused to give money to the organisation.
Sources said the police commandos went to the house of Inaobi but he could not be arrested as he was missing from his home for several months.
In yet another incident yesterday, police commandos of Thoubal district police arrested two militants of People's Union of Liberation Front-Keshorjit and Chandro faction, sources said adding that two militants were identified as Md Sirajur Rahaman (27) and Md Alaudin alias Iboyai (38) and one stolen car was also seized from their possession.
All the seven arrested militants have been handed over to the police stations at respective places for further interrogation, sources said adding that more than 150 militants of different outfits have so far been arrested this year during various search operations.
Official sources said all police and security outposts have been put on red alert to intensify patrolling in their respective areas to intercept the movements of ultras in view of stepped-up activities of militants in recent months.