Imphal: Security forces in Manipur’s Thoubal district today arrested five more from the cadre of People Liberation Army (PLA), the armed wing of Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF).
Four hand grenades were also recovered from the cadre among whom one is a woman, the police said.
The Thoubal police alleged that the arrested cadres were involved in various bomb blasts and attacks on non-Manipuris in recent times. The police said that a combined force of Thoubal district police commandos and troops of 16 Assam Rifles launched an operation today morning, based on inputs provided by the Assam Rifles authority.
As per the information received from the Assam Rifles, some PLA cadres had planned to disturb the Independence Day celebration in various places of the state by planting explosives under the instruction of its self-styled Lt Colonel Rishikanta @ Ranbir.
Independence Day was celebrated yesterday (Monday) peacefully, without untoward incident.
The police further stated that the cadres were also planning to target non-local people in various valley districts of the state and for which arms and explosives had been transported from Moreh and deposited at the house of a person in the Tentha area of the district.
Based on the inputs, the security forces conducted a cordon and search operation at Tentha Tuwaband Leikai and arrested the three cadres along with seizure of four hand grenades.
The police identified the arrested cadres as Keidongbam Subol @ Khomei (43), Paonam Manikanta Singh alias Amuyaima (32) and Thambalmani (46).
Two more cadres were arrested in a follow up operation following the arrest of the three cadres, the police also said. They were identified as Sougaijam Ronan (32) and Naorem Britain (27).
During preliminary enquiry, the police revealed that under the instructions of the same self-styled Lt Colonel Rishikanta @ Ranbir of the PLA, they have been targeting non-local people in all the valley districts along with the seven cadres arrested earlier on August 13.
On August 13, the same combined team of security forces had arrested seven cadres of the PLA and seized arms and ammunition including hand grenades.
The police source claimed that the arrested cadres were involved in an IED blast at Durga Mandir at Telepati in Imphal East on May 13, 2022 and also another blast at Khongjom Sapam in Thoubal on May 30, 2022. The arrested cadres along with the seized items were handed over to Khongjom police station of Thoubal district where a case was lodged against them.
Meanwhile, RPF, the armed wing of PLA, in an email statement today, clarified that the seven individuals arrested by the security forces on August 13 are not cadres of the outfit and not related and have nothing to do with the activities of RPF or its armed wing PLA.