TODAY -
Karang Ops called off, Army post set up
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 05: The operation, code-named ‘Operation Stinger’ launched by army personnel under the aegis of 57 Mountain Division and supervised by its GOC Major General Govind Dwivedi at Karang Island since the midnight of October 3 has been called off and an army post has been set up there.

Briefing mediapersons at Karang today morning in connection with the operation, Dwivedi said that Operation Stinger has been called off.

Karang is a stronghold of underground activists and special troops and equipments were used for the operation, he said, while asserting that no casualty or damage of civilian properties occurred during the operation.

It is believed that army have killed or caused casualty to at least 6 to 8 underground activists.

Although their bodies have not been recovered, a huge cache of arms have been recovered, the GOC said, adding UGs were shot with sniper rifles at pin point.

Replying to a question, Dwivedi informed that army personnel would be deployed and continue to keep vigil at the island so no underground elements can set up camp there.

The public welcomed us and extended their full co-operation during the last 24 hours while the army were launching the operation, the army officer added.

A cache of arms supposedly seized from the UGs were also displayed for the mediapersons during the press briefing held at Karang UJB School ground.

The displayed arms and ammunitions include one grenade launcher, one AK-47 Rifles, one 9 mm pistol, one binocular, two wireless sets, one machine, 200-300 ammunitions, six magazine, one photo album and cloths for stitching magazine pouches.

Talking to the media-persons, Salam Binodkumar, an LP school teacher said there were no instances of arrest or harassment of civilians by the army personnel during the operation.

They were, however, not allowed to venture out, he said, and added that it was only this morning at around 9 that they were allowed to come out.

Binodkumar further informed that they heard sounds of gun firing at early morning at around 4-4.30 today and army claimed to have killed some underground activists.

‘But we have not seen any bodies’, he also said.

When the press team met the Meira paibis of the area, they complained that none of the people at Karang who sustain their lives on fishing activities were been allowed to go out to earn their livelihood following the army operation.

The fish-traps laid out for catching fishes too have been destroyed by the motor boats of the army, they claimed.

‘All the local people were herded and confined at one particular spot from early morning till late in the afternoon yesterday and were not allowed even allowing to take their meals’, the womenfolk alleged.

The whereabouts of one Ningthoujam Meiteichaoba (30) who had gone out for fishing has not been known, although the army have informed that another seven fishermen are in their custody, they said.

The mediapersons who have gone to cover the press briefing of the GOC were first taken to Karang Island from Thanga in motor boats.

However, for reaching the place where the press briefing was held, they have to walk through the marshy route in line with security guards in tow to avoid stepping on mind bombs allegedly planted by the UGs in the area.

Chairman of Bishnupur Zilla Parishad Haobijam Ibetombi was along with the media team while going to Karang while the local MLA later arrived from Thanga later on.

Meanwhile, Poirei Leimarol Meira Paibi Apunba, Manipur (PLMPAM) and Thanga Ima Meira Paibi Apunba Lup (TIMPAL) have appealed to the State Government for ensuring that the normal life of the people in Karang area, majority of whom are poor and depend on fishing activities for sustenance are not affected by the army operation.


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