PREPAK states stand on Thoubal kids
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 14: Informing that Akoijam Bipinchandra (13) son of A Ranjit of Kiyam Siphai Amurijam Leikai and Akoijam Ajoy (13) son of A Ibothe of Kiyam Siphai Khong Ahanbi are safe in the custody of PREPAK, the outfit today claimed that they came to them on their accord.

In a statement, self styled publicity secretary-in-charge of the outfit Aheiba Angom said that the two kids were not kidnapped or forced to join the outfit.

Welcoming the appeal issued by the NGOs for their release, the outfit said that a member of PREPAK had earlier informed the parents that the two kids had come to join them on their own accord.

The family members had also beseeched the outfit to release them as they were still very young, said Angom and added that the claim of the NGO that the outfit assured that they would be released soon is not the whole truth.

It is only right for PREPAK to study their mentality, get to know why they wanted to join them as well as study their physical condition, said the statement.

As such it would be taking things a little too light to believe that the outfit had blindly assured that they would be handed back to their parents immediately.

Even if such an assurance was given, it must have been due to the emotional appeal from the parents.

It would also be hasty on the part of the NGOs if they went ahead with their agitation knowing fully well that the children are in the custody of PREPAK, said the statement.

There is something called the rules and regulations of the outfit as well as the security aspect, it said and urged all to deliberate on this.

PREPAK had not enticed the children with false promises such as giving them money, allowing them to drive vehicles or by offering them intoxicants.

PREPAK has its own recruiting policy.

Posing a number of questions, PREPAK asked why women and children cannot be part of the movement to win back the lost sovereignty of the land.

Is it wrong for them to work for the cause in their own capacity ? Did anyone stop Nityananda when he decided to follow his own religious beliefs just because he was a child, it asked and added did anyone stop Chinglensana from joining the Khongjom war.

PREPAK views the efforts of some in trying to portray them as child lifters seriously, said Angom and added that ever since it launched its movement, the outfit has never abducted, kidnapped or forced anyone to join them.

In this computer age, children now know far more than their age and it would be wrong to dismiss the capabilities of children just because of their age, it added.

NGOs ought to discuss the issue on why children have started coming forward to join the armed movement.

PREPAK understands the trauma that the parents must be facing on not seeing their young children, said Angom and added that is precisely the reason why it informed the parents as soon as they joined the outfit.

The statement also urged the NGOs not act in haste and assured that PREPAK would work out the best way.