Alert sounded all over, says DGP
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Imphal, July 17: Against the backdrop of unabated media reports of children disappearing and allegedly joining a militant outfit as child soldiers, Manipur police department has sounded a red alert to all district police stations and outposts apart from stepping up frisking exercise of passenger ferrying vehicles.

However, no rescue exercise of missing children, as of now, is on the card of the police department.

Talking to media persons at his office chamber here on Thursday, State Director General of Police (DGP) Yumnam Joykumar said that even if reports of missing children cases have flooded the news headlines since the last few days, the family members are yet to formally register compliants with the police stations concerned.

However, he said that a red alert has been sounded to all police stations of the State to be on vigil in checking the movements of children.

Joykumar said that as there have been no formal complaints about the missing children to the police stations concerned, the police are not in a position to undertake rescue operations of the missing children.

He ruled that since the children have been under the custody of the militants, as per media reports, any operation to secure the release of the children may involve the children as it will amount to 'counter-insurgency' operation.

The police chief has also said that the kidnapping of children for recruitment to the ranks of their outfits have indicated that the militants are desparate.

He said that such kind of child recruits might have happened in the past even if family members of the children have begun to react against the steps of late.

Till date, it may be mentioned, that the number of children missing in the state within a span of two months has crossed the 20 mark and the count is likely to go up.

According to reports, the militants say that the children, who are reported 'kidnapped,' joined the outfit on their own volition and consent while families said that the children were kidnapped for recruitment as child soldiers.

Following this trend, there have been protests witnessed scattered in pockets of Imphal and its vicinity in the last few days.

Out of fear, many parents have been concealing the cases of their wards missing but gradually one after another the parents of missing children are openning up their mouths and start taking the cases in the streets of Imphal.