A joint team of Manipur police and Assam Rifles personnel held seven militants during a series of raids carried out in different districts of Manipur Saturday, and foiled their bid to plant bombs ahead of Independence Day.
The police said the militants belonging to the banned Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) of Manipur were planning to plant explosive devices at various government installations and target security forces in Thoubal district, among others.
Based on a tip-off from Assam Rifles, the joint team led by a senior police officer initially rushed to Yairpok bazaar in Thoubal district to trace the explosives, said Jogeshchandra Haobijam, superintendent of police Thoubal district.
Later, a day-long operation was conducted at various locations in Thoubal, Imphal East, Imphal West, and Kakching districts, during which the militants were arrested, the SP said, adding that the instructions to plant the bombs were given by one Rishikanta, a self-styled lieutenant colonel of the PLA of Manipur.
The SP further said that two 9mm pistols along with 35 live ammunition and two hand grenades were seized from the possession of the militants.
“As per preliminary interrogation, it was also found that the cadres were targeting non-local people in valley districts on the instructions of Rishikanta,” he said.
According to the police, some of the arrested militants were involved in the killing of non-locals in Kakching on June 23 and in Imphal East on July 8.