Man held with arms in Manipur relative of sitting MLA, says officer
The suspected militant, 45, was in touch with a Myanmar-based terror group since June, the officers said.
New Delhi: Investigations into the arrest of a 45-year-old man, who was nabbed from Imphal on Saturday evening in possession of a weapon and ammunition, have revealed that he is the nephew of a Manipur legislator, officers aware of the state police’s probe in the matter said on Sunday.
The suspected militant was in touch with a Myanmar-based terror group since June, the officers said, adding that the Manipur police are probing the extent of his involvement in the ethnic clashes that have rocked the northeastern state since May 3.
The Manipur Police, in a statement on Saturday night, said that an active member of banned outfit Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) was arrested with a 9 mm Beretta US Corp pistol, seven rounds (of ammunition) and extortion money, however, they did not share details related to his identification or his alleged contacts.
“The 45-year-old man, Karam Satrajit Singh, was arrested by the commando unit of Imphal West from Singjamei Supermarket area in Imphal. He confessed that he was working with a man named Robert who is based in Myanmar,” a senior officer aware of the probe details said, requesting anonymity. “Under the command of the people based in Myanmar, he was extorting money from private establishments and public as part of the party fund.”
The officer added: “During probe, police found that the man is the nephew of a sitting MLA.”
While Singh has been arrested on charges of extortion and being part of the banned KYKL extremist group, police are probing his involvement in the ongoing ethnic strife in Manipur, the officer said.
To be sure, KYKL is the same militant outfit, whose 12 members were apprehended by Assam Rifles at a village in Imphal along with large cache of ammunition on June 24, but they were let free after women-led protesters and a mob of around 1,200 people surrounded the security forces. An army spokesperson had on June 25 said that among those apprehended in the combing operation included Moirangthem Tamba, alias Uttam, a mastermind of the 2015 ambush that killed 18 army personnel.
Singh joined KYKL through his Myanmar-based contact in June, around a month after ethnic violence erupted in Manipur. At least 178 people have been killed and nearly 50,000 displaced in the northeastern state since May 3, when ethnic clashes erupted between numerically dominant Meitei and tribal Kuki communities.
The Manipur Police and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) have maintained that terror outfits from neighbouring Myanmar were exploiting the ethnic unrest in Manipur. On July 19, NIA registered a suo motu (on its own) case to probe the role of people working under instructions from Myanmar-based groups that are involved in violence in Manipur.
On September 23, the federal anti-terror agency also arrested a man, identified as Moirangthem Anand Singh, for his alleged involvement in stoking violence in the state by carrying out attacks against rival groups and security forces. Another person, Seiminlun Gangte, who was arrested by NIA on September 30 in the same case, too, was involved with Myanmar-based terror groups to fuel violence in the state, the agency has said.