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Two UGs in child lifting case killed following kidnapper`s disclosures; Kidnapper names two recruited boys

IMPHAL, Jul 30: At least two suspected PREPAK(VC) cadres who were allegedly behind the recruitment of children into the outfit were killed in follow up action after a child kidnapper was apprehended from Langthabal Kunja today in a operation conducted by the Imphal west police commandos jointly with the troops of 12 Maratha Light Infantry, police said.Two suspected PREPAK cadres were killed today in a shootout with a combined force of Imphal west police commandos and troops of 12 Maratha Light Infantry at Laphupat Tera part-II this afternoon at 12.45 pm.The two were killed during a follow up action of the combined force following arrest of a 19-year old person named Akham Bobby Singh, son of Noren of Mayang Imphal Thana Wangkhei Leikai, a "child recruiter-cum-abductor" of PREPAK(VC) from Langthabal Kunja area, Imphal west SP Kailun said in a statement today.Bobby was arrested today at around 9.30 am by personnel of the Imphal west police commandos after receiving specific intelligence input.During interrogation, the statement said, it was revealed that Bobby had abducted and recruited two boys from his village named 12-year old Wangkhemmayum Sohodev, son of Noren and 13-year old Kshetrimayum Suresh, son of Achou of Mayang Imphal Thana Leikai.Police further revealed that on July 18, Bobby had abducted the children under the command of one Chongtham Jiban Singh, 25, of Mayang Imphal Thana Maning Leikai currently residing at Laphupat Tera and belonging to the PREPAK(VC).Following the disclosure by Bobby that the two children were taken hostage by Jiban at a place in Laphupat Tera part-II, a combined team of Imphal west police commandos and troops of 12 Maratha Light Infantry rushed to the spot.When the team reached the area some unknown persons armed with automatic weapons and hand grenades attacked the approaching securitymen to which they retaliated.After around 10 minutes of exchange of fire between the two sides around 10 to 12 armed people made good their escape towards the Khoidum Pat taking advantage of the rains and bushes in the area, the SP said.In further search operation after the encounter, two dead bodies were found lying at the spot and a 9 mm pistol with magazine loaded with three live ammunition was recovered along with a Chinese hand grenade.A passport size photograph of the disappeared child Sohodev who police believe is being held in PREPAK(VC) captivity was found from one of the slain men, the statement claimed.According to the lead provided by the alleged child kidnapper Bobby who is in police custody, the SP said in his statement suggested that the two slain men were members of PREPAK(VC) who were among the persons responsible for the recent abduction of minor children for recruitment as child soldiers.(Courtesy:IFP)

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