Another three kids go missing
Woman child lifter first admits, changes story in police custody

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 24: Even as school children staged a dharna all over Imphal today to protest the kidnapping of children to recruit them as child soldiers in front of the their schools today, a 51 year old woman was rounded by the vigilant public of Phoubakchao on charges of handing over three children to PREPAK and later handed her over to Kakching police station.

The woman in question here is identified as Nongmeikappam Mema alias Bilashini (51) wife of (L) Ng Gandhar of Kachikhul but presently staying at Sagolband Bijoy Govinda.

However at the police station the woman denied that she was involved in handing any children over to the said outfit.

According to sources, the woman brought the three children to Phoubakchao bazar and handed them over to cadres of PREPAK yesterday at about 7 pm.

Mema was rounded up by meira paibis and club members of Phoubakchao today morning and after interrogating her at the Community hall of Phoubakchao was handed over to Kakching police station.

Recounting the accounts given by Mema to the meira paibis and club members, sources said that she was instructed by a cadre of the PREPAK, identified as Roger, to take the children up to Sekmaijin Thongkhong.

Since no one was at Sekmaijin to receive the child, Mema was again instructed to proceed upto Phoubakchao bazar.

Again there was no one at Phoubakchao bazar to receive the children, said the sources quoting the accounts given by Mema to the meira paibis.

Left with no other alternative, Mema got in touch with an old friend identified as Maipakpi and went to her house.

There she contacted a youth called Hemant and after the youth established contacts, the three children were handed over to PREPAK cadres yesterday at about 7 pm.

One of the children reportedly was crying repeatedly and to placate the children they were given some snacks at a hotel at Phoubakchao.

Mema spent the night at Maipakpi's place last night.

Mema was rounded up by the meira paibis and club members when she came to have her morning tea at the hotel where the children were given snacks last evening.

The conduct of Mema had already aroused the suspicion of the hotel owner as well shop keepers nearby and they alerted the local people.

When a team of media persons rushed to the Phoubakchao community hall, Mema said that she had taken the children along with her on the instructions of a PREPAK cadre identified as Roger.

However Mema changed her statement when the media team went to Kakching police custody to question her further.

Mema told the media team that she had cooked up the story of the children as she feared for her safety.