Attempt to kidnap two and a half year old child ?
Parents say something, SF says something else
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 28: This is not something from Ripleys Believe It Or Not, but the news story that follows is something which is hard to believe as well as something hard to dismiss.

Even as numerous protest sittings were staged all over the valley area today against the recruitment of child soldiers/kidnapping of minors by a militant outfit, came the information at the offices of the newspapers that an attempt to kidnapp a two and a half year old child was made at Kha-Sanjenbam under Wangoi police station today at about 12.30 pm.

Reporters who rushed to the spot on receiving the information were informed that the alleged would be kidnappers were personnel of 12 MLI in civvies travelling in two Maruti vans and that they were accosted at Waheng Khuman by the vigilant public.

However on being contacted, the PRO of Assam Rifles, Colonel Pant quoting the findings of the CO of 12 MLI said that nothing of this sort happened.

Quoting the CO of 12 MLI, the PRO informed The Sangai Express that the personnel of 12 MLI were on a recce and when they reached Sanjenbam, some kids pelted stones at their vehicles.

The personnel alighted from their vehicles to question why the kids were pelting stones.

The MLI personnel furnished their identity cards and after this the elders of the village came to an understanding with the MLI personnel and they were let off.

It must have been the fear psychosis gripping the mind of the people over the recent spurt in reports of child kidnappings or recruitment, said the PRO and added that when the MLI personnel were accosted they contacted the OC of Bishnupur police and everything was explained to the people.

Even the SP of Bishnupur police had explained the same thing, said the PRO.

However the parents of the child had a totally different version today while interacting with reporters.

Thiyam Ibomcha said that he was bathing in a pond by the roadside while his two and half year old child, Shyam played by the roadside.

Even as he was bathing he saw two white coloured Maruti vans coming on the road and as they approached the place where his child was playing, one of the occupants tried to pull him inside the van.

At this the people around raised an alarm shouting that a child is being kidnapped.

The vans then sped away despite the people trying to stop them, said Ibomcha and added that the people pelted stones at the 'fleeing vehicles'.

The people of Kha-Sanjenbam then alerted the nearby villages of the alleged kidnap attempt and the two vans were ultimately blocked at Waheng Khuman.

It was here that the occupants identified themselves as personnel of the 12 MLI in civvies.

Policemen from Wangoi PS as well as Bishnupur police also arrived at the scene and the MLI personnel were allowed to proceed.