//Manipur Locals suspect something fishy behind arms recovery

Manipur Locals suspect something fishy behind arms recovery

Thingbaijam Dhamen, kanglaonline.com

IMPHAL, Nov 25: Mystery still surrounds the recovery of weapons from Kiyamgei Pal Ahanbi in the police follow up action to the arrest of two hardcore activists of the underground People`s United Liberation Front (PULF) from Imphal airport, who were accompanying the MOBC minister and trying to board the Air Deccan flight on November 10.

It is believed by the local people of Kiyamgei that the weapons were recovered from where the two PULF cadres took shelter before they were apprehended, possibly from the residence of a VIP. The police may be under pressure from higher authorities not to disclose the exact place where the weapons were detected.

The police claimed the recovery of the weapons from a place at Kiyamgei Pal Ahanbi under Irilbung police station of Imphal east, while the residents of the locality could not agree with the police claim.

"We are strongly against the police statement on recovery of weapons from our locality," a woman gram panchayat member of Kiyamgei told this correspondent. Reiterating their disagreement with the police claim they said that on the said day neither security personnel came to their locality nor did they conduct search operations.

Meanwhile, though it is not openly said, it seems that the pradhan and members who were organising a protest against the police, received threats not to bring the matter into the open.

The members of the GP said, "We were told not to undertake further investigation into the matter. still we are waiting for a clarification from the police on our future course of action."

However, when asked if they received threats from any particular person or persons, they were reluctant to disclose the facts clearly.

On November 10 afternoon a team of Imphal west police commandos arrested the two PULF cadres from the Tulihal airport in Imphal delaying the Imphal-Guwahati Air Deccan flight.

The two were arrested while trying to board the flight with tickets booked by MOBC minister Md Aalauddin who also there at the airport with five tickets. Local dailies have been suspicious that the two cadres were accompanying Allauddin, but so far there has been no reaction from the minister`s side.

When this reporter interacted with some locals of Kiyamgei Pal Ahanbi including women members of the gram panchayat Loitang Devi and Sana Devi, they strongly denied the police claim and expressed that there was some secret behind the police claim. "There is some undisclosed reason which is best known to the police," they said.

"Its something like raining with no cloud in the sky," one local said.

Loitang, a member of the Kiyamgei Gram Panchayat said, "Pal Ahanbi, the spot where the police made the recovery is my area of concern and I was susprised when I found reports in local dailies of police unearthing weapons from Pal Ahanbi."

She added, "still we are wondering how the police without appearing at the spot on that day made the claim."

She demanded that the police should at least clearly indicate the exact spot so as to wipe out the doubts in the minds of the people of the area.

She also went on to say that Kiyamgei is a vast area but there is no Kiyamgei Pal Ahanbi other than the one in her locality.

Sana Devi said that in the aftermath of the police claim they planned a protest dharna on November 19 but police foiled the dharna without any reason.

They were simply planning to stage the sit in-protest in a peaceful manner with no violent activities but the police disallowed them. There is something behind it, as sit-in protests are usually not disturbed by the police, she said.

Apart from this, Sana observed that there is little chance of hiding weapons in the area by the underground cadres as the area is located next to the NH and is a populated area.

She also demanded that the Irilbung police conduct a spot enquiry so as to relieve the people from confusion over the claim.

A shopkeeper running a grocery shop at Pal Ahanbi decrying the police claim said that he had been staying at the shop cum residence but he did not see any security personnel or police coming there and conducting search operation on that day.

At least he or his family would know about any movement of the police or security forces in the area as the whole area under Pal Ahanbi is within the view from his shop, the shopkeeper observed. Apart from this the time of recovery was mention as 4.30 am when at least some people usually start coming out for morning walks.

Meanwhile, a mass agitation by the locals of the area is expected as the police have not come out with any reply to the people`s doubts.

Mention may be made that on November 11 police claimed that a team of Imphal west police in a follow up action to the disclosure made by the two apprehended activists of the People`s United Liberation Front, PULF recovered two weapons. The weapons were found concealed under the earth near a lake at Kiyamgei Pal Ahanbi.

The recovered items include a rocket launcher propeller gun, RPG and a 303 rifle. The arms were recovered at around 4.30 am, according to the police.