Guwahati: Suspected militants belonging to Kuki Independent Army (KIA) raided and looted the armoury of militant groups under the suspension of operations (SoO) in Manipur on Sunday.
The militants of the KIA (also known as Kuki Independent Organisation) looted at least 25 sophisticated arms in the early hours of Sunday from the designated camp of three militant groups at Churachandpur in the state, official stated.
The Manipur-based KIA is a non-signatory of the tripartite ceasefire pact with the government.
The KIA guerrillas in large numbers attacked and overpowered those at Chungkhao designated camp in Churachandpur district bordering Myanmar, official said.
The rebels along with the looted weapons managed to escape from the scene without any bloodshed.
The looting of weapons from the SoO camp took place just three days after the Manipur police announced a cash reward of Rs 50,000 for any person, who provides information leading to the arrest of KIA chief Thangkhongam Haokip alias Davidson alias Pareng Kom (40).
Around 25 Kuki militants belonging to three different outfits are staying in the Chungkhao designated camp.
A high alert has been sounded and the police authority has asked all the concerned police stations to remain vigilant to recover the looted weapons and to nab the fleeing rebels.
The mountainous Churachandpur district in southern Manipur, which borders Myanmar and Mizoram, is home to various Kuki-Chin militant groups.
The militants of three outfits — the Kuki National Army (KNA), Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA) and Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) — have been staying in the designated camp after the Centre and Manipur government had signed the tripartite agreement and SoO with these outfits on August 22, 2008.
The Manipur government last month withdrew from the tripartite talks and SoO signed with three Kuki militant outfits in the northeastern state even though the Union Home Ministry is yet to give its approval to the state government’s decision.
Meanwhile, it was also reported that the cadres of KNA, ZRA and KRA are instigating poppy cultivators in the state against the government, which has been taking action against illegal poppy cultivators, and destroying poppy fields in the forest lands, especially in the reserve and protected forests.