In a major breakthrough, Manipur Police have identified the militant group that had been threatening local editors.
On December 26, a hand grenade was left in the office of the Pandam News evening daily with a note saying that it was a “new year gift to the editors”. This triggered a 24-hour cease-work strike by the local scribes on December 27.
Police late on Monday arrested Mohen Kangabam, 63, an active member of the Kangleipak Communist Party (Lamyanba Khuman), a proscribed militant outfit, and recovered some extortion letters and incriminating items from his house. The threats were carried out by Corcom, an apex body of six outfits, a spokesperson for the para-military Assam Rifles said.
“Mohen has confessed to his crime. He disclosed that he planted the hand grenade under the orders of L. Mangoljao aka Lamyanba Khuman, the commander-in-chief of the outfit, believed to be hiding now in Nepal,” police said. The special search operation was conducted under the supervision of S. Ibomcha, Additional Superintendent of Police (Operations), Imphal West.
P. Labango Mangang, Editor of Kangla Pao evening newspaper, told IANS on Tuesday that the Editors’ Guild Manipur is yet to get an official statement from the police. “Our appeal is that armed persons and others should not harass the scribes who are working amid constraints in this insurgency-affected state. We should be allowed to discharge our duty freely,” he added.
Security was tightened in the district following reports that extortion threats may be made to the candidates in the coming elections, police said.