PREPAK (GS) orchestrates 'not child soldiers' parade
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 19: While informing that some of the children reportedly missing are in the custody of PREPAK (GS), the recruiting officer (RO) of the proscribed outfit Sunil, however, clarified that the children are not meant for recruiting as child soldiers.

Allowing a team of mediapersons to meet the children in the custody of the outfit at its general headquarters, Sunil said that PREPAK (GS) is fully conversant of the International Humanitarian Laws and guidelines of other International Conventions on the protection of rights of women and child and respect them in carrying out its activities.

Child soldiers in the ranks of PREPAK line for a photo shoot

So in accordance with the principle of the revolutionary movements and other International laws, the outfit would take up necessary measures to ensure these children who have come to join the outfit on their own volition may return to their normal life, he assured.

Children who have been reportedly missing but are in the custody of the outfit are identified as Naosekpam Naresh (13) of Uripok Achom Leikai, Nongthombam Suresh (12), also from the same locality, Pebam Bishwajit (13) of Kyamgei Awang Leikai, Ningombam Abenao (16) of Pishumthong Ningomba Leirak, Akoijam Bipinchandra (13) and Akoijam Ajoy (13), both from Thoubal Kiyam Siphai.

The outfit however did not reveal the identity of other children in its custody whose missing cases have not yet been reported through the media.

As of now, some simple training is being imparted to them.

There are some of them who have completed the training and they would be sent to academic centres for necessary education, he said, adding that in case of any misunderstanding due to lack of communication over the activities of the outfit, it had always apologised to the people.

In connection with the reports of missing children which are doing the round of late, the RO clarified that all missing cases are not related to the outfit.

For those children who refused to go back from the custody, the outfit had informed their respective family members in time.

None of these children have been kidnapped, forced and threatened to come.

They have come on their own volition, though they did not disclose their intention to the respective family members, the RO said.

Asking the people to think over the issue, the RO said that the outfit would welcome suggestions fro m the public in this regard.

However, they should not indulge in spreading false rumours to tarnish the image of the outfit.

There is no question of recruiting child soldiers in the principle of PREPAK and it would always carry out its duties and responsibility in conformity with the International Laws, he reiterated.