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UNLF cadre involved in killing spree held: police

Imphal, June 5: The state police has established the identity of the suspects involved in the serial killings of non-locals in the state following the arrest of a sympathiser of the underground UNLF who was involved in the killing of a non-local barber this morning at Wabagai Lamkhai. The arrest was made during extensive operations conducted by the security forces in Wabagai, Hiyanglam, Laphupat Tera, Tokpaching, and Chingjao areas, after a brief encounter this morning.

Mentioning this, SP Thoubal, Clay Khongsai, during a press briefing at his office chamber at Thoubal district headquarter this evening disclosed that the Thoubal police had been on alert after directives from the state government over the spate of killings of non-locals in the valley districts.

He further said that a strong combined security team of Thoubal district police commandos and personnel of 21 Assam Rifles headed by the SDPO Thoubal, Nimai, after getting information on the shooting of a non-local at Wabagai Lamkhai bazar this morning rushed to the area and conducted cordon and search operations along the routes the assailants could have escaped.

He said a sympathiser of the underground UNLF identified as Elangbam Rojit Singh, 20, son of E Ibomcha Singh of Hiyanglam Makha Leikai, who was involved in the killing of the non-local at Wabagai bazar this morning was arrested from Hiyanglam around 9 am this morning,

The SP further mentioned that after extracting information from the arrested person, the security forces continued their search operations in the surrounding areas during which they got involved in a fierce encounter with armed militants at Tokpaching and Hilanmei areas under Kakching police station. The fighting lasted for more than seven hours.

The SP mentioned that there were no casualties on the side of the security forces but some casualties could have been inflicted on the opposing side.

Meanwhile, Rojit was paraded before the media in a press briefing at the office of the Thoubal SP. He disclosed to the media that he had been working as an overground UNLF member.

He said two other cadres of the UNLF identified as S/S Sgt. Samadram Jugol alias Thambaljao Singh, 31, son of Bihari of Thoubal Haokha and S/S Lance Corporal Keisham Herojit alias S Loktak, son of K Achouba of Heirok part-II Laishram Leikai visited him ealry this morning on a black colour Honda Activa bearing registartion No. MN04-B-2074 and informed him of their task of killing a non-local. Later, the trio reached Wabagai Keithel. S/S Sgt Samadram Jugol Singh carried out the shooting of the non-local barber at Wabagai Lamkhai bazar and thereafter they left the spot hurriedly on the same Honda Activa towards Hiyanglam area.

Jugol and Herojit fled towards the lake leaving the Honda Activa and he was suddenly arrested by the security forces while he was loitering at Hiyanglam area around 9 am, he said.

The SP Thoubal further stated that the Honda Activa used by the assailants belongs to one Maibam Das, son of M Manihar of Wabagai Maibam Leikai.

Later, the SP Thoubal announced a cash reward of Rs. 50,000 to any individual or security personnel who can give information about the two absconding assailants who are cadres of the UNLF.

Clay Khongsai, later observed that killing the poor non-locals would only brew communal hatred and put the state’s people in danger in various places in the Indian mainland. He said he expected those involved in these killings to understand this very obvious fact and put an end to the killings for the sake of the people of the state, if not for other reasons. He also asked the non-locals in the state to be on alert and report any suspicious persons to the police. (IFP)

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