Child recruiter in police custody
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 20: A combined force of Imphal East police and 39 Assam Rifles have arrested a person who allegedly handed over a child to PREPAK (GS) group after calling the child out of his house.

The arrested person has been identified as Nandeibam Thouba (23) s/o Khaba of Sagolband Bazar.

He allegedly called out 13-year old Adhikarimayum Ojit Sharma s/o Lukhoi Sharma of Sagolband Awang Leikai from his house in the afternoon of July 11 and later handed over the child to the custody of PREPAK (GS) group.

Accused Thouba

Announcing while talking to mediapersons today, SP of Imphal East District Th Radheshyam informed that Thouba called out Ojit from his Sagolband Bazar house in the afternoon of July 11 and later handed him over him to one Wahengbam Sunil s/o Manglem of the same locality.

During the course of interrogation, Thouba disclosed that Sunil is an activist of PREPAK (GS) group, the SP said.

Stating that the situation of kidnapping young children in Manipur is very alarming, the SP asserted that the reports of missing children is nothing but forced recruitment of children by the militants.

To discuss the situation, a joint meeting of all the SPs of the districts had been held with the DGP during which the latter gave strong instructions for stepping up security vigil.

Accordingly, a special team led by Additional SP of Imphal East District has been set up and the OCs of all the police stations are included in the special team, the SP said.

Acting on a special tip off, the special team rounded up Thouba, the SP informed, adding that public can contact the Imphal East Police Control room on telephone no.2452669, mobile phone no.9856473194 of Additional SP, mobile phone no.9436022432 of OC (Commandos) and his landline telephone no.24617090 and mobile phone no 9436023204 in case any child is kidnapped for recruitment.

The SP further informed that all the Army, Assam Riles and other security personnel posted in Imphal East District have also been communicated for proper verification of suspected cases of child being taken without their parents.

Moreover, the authorities of the private schools in Imphal East have been asked to report cases related to missing of students to the police, besides making efforts to spread awareness among the Meira Paibis of every localities.

So far only two cases connected with missing of children have been officially reported to the police and both the cases have been referred to Irilbung Police Station, the SP said, while informing that there are also two more cases which have not been reported officially and one of these cases relate to that of Adhikarimayum Ojit Sharma.