STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 11th May:
Five members including two women of the banned PREPAK who were allegedly involved in the deadly IED blast at Koirengei near 49Bn BSF camp on May 9 have been arrested by police.
The arrested PREPAK members are identified as Thoudam Suresh alias Khamba alias Inunganba alias Nganthoi Singh (27), son of Tomba of Leishangthem Thoudam Mamang Leikai; Thokchom Ranjit (58), son of late Yaima of Langol Type-II and his wife Thokchom Ongbi Tharongoubi Leima (55); Irom Ongbi Kumudini (60), wife of late Iboyaima of Samushang Uku Lairembi Leirak; and Thoudam Aboi alias Naocha alias Wathouba alias Eken Meitei (30), son of Ibocha of Leishangthem Thoudam Mamang Leikai but presently staying at Mantripukhri Chumbreithong.
Confirming arrest of the five in connection with the Koirengei blast in which two BSF jawans were killed and three civilians injured, DGP LM Khaute said that police managed to nab the culprits due to help and support from public.
Addressing media persons about the development at SP Imphal West conference hall Friday, LM Khaute said that Heingang police registered a case soon after the blast and police stations of four valley districts were alerted and conducted search operations at various suspected areas. It was due to help and cooperation from public that state police managed to arrest the five persons within 24 hours of the incident, he said and appealed to public to render the same support and cooperation in future as well.
Nowadays, the people are against violent incidents like the one occurred at Koirengei, he said and reiterated that state police has been taking steps to prevent unwanted incident which cause suffering to people while taking up measures to prevent activities of underground elements. Nevertheless, some unwanted incidents did happened in the past causing inconvenience to public while police were executing their duties, he admitted and appealed to public to assist the police in such circumstances.
Detailing the search operations conducted soon after the blast and subsequent arrest of the suspects, SP Imphal West K Meghachandra said that police and commando personnel of four valley districts of the state formed a combined team under the supervision of DG, IG and senior police officers and conducted search at various suspected places.
Upon receiving a specific input that Suresh might be involved in triggering the blast, the combined team picked up Suresh from his house at about 9am Thursday with help of Thoubal police.
The team also recovered two mobile handsets from him and seized his voter ID card.
Citing what Suresh revealed during interrogation, Meghachandra said that Suresh works for the banned PREPAK under the command of one Erei. Under Erei’s instruction he collected one IED wrapped in a black polythene bag at about 2pm on May 8 from Thoubal collage road which was delivered to him by two unidentified men and boarded a Tata magic till Singjamei. He then met one Aboi who was sent by Erei and both of them came to Mantripukhri on Aboi’s Honda Activa and then spent the same night at Tharongoubi’s residence at Langol.
On the next (May 9) day, both Suresh and Aboi went to Khonghampat and returned to Koirengei where they met one Echal sent by Erei, the SP continued, adding that Aboi and Echal together planted the IED near BSF camp while leaving Suresh near CMC hospital. After planting the IED, Echal left the place and went towards Khonghampat while Suresh and Aboi waited for an opportune moment. After getting a perfect moment, Aboi triggered the IED with the help of a remote control device and both of them returned to Mantripukhri immediately, Meghachandra added.
The remaining four suspects were arrested based on Suresh’s disclosure, the SP said, adding that hectic search operation is continuing to arrest more suspects and to collect evidences.
Imphal West senior SP Themthing Ngasangva, who also attended the press conference, told media persons that district police commando arrested Kangabam Roshan alias Poireiton (27) son of late Gogo of Thangapat Mapal during a search operation conducted on May 10 afternoon as part of intensified security measures taken up after the Koirengei blast.
As Roshan disclosed concealing of an IED at home during initial interrogation, the police commando team conducted a thorough search of his house and recovered one C-4 cake, three circuits, five 9 bolt batteries, one LED bulb, one wire cap, one remote control device, six carbon papers and one fastening tap. During further interrogation, Roshan disclosed that he works under the command of one Major Jiten of PREPAK (Pro) currently staying in Tamu, Myanmar. During early part of this year, Roshan went to Moreh frequently and met Jiten and brought several IEDs from the border town to Imphal to target security forces. Jiten reportedly instructed Roshan to carry out attack on security forces along National Highway on May 6 but he could not perform the task till date, Themthing said, adding that Roshan was directly involved in the bomb attack at chief minister’s bungalow in 2013 and attack on Territorial Army camp at Koirengei.
The press conference was also attended by IGP Zone-I Clay Khongsai, DIG Range-I Jayanta and top police officers of Imphal West district.