IMPHAL, June 8 (NNN): Security forces in Manipur commenced combing operations to recover arms and ammunition including those looted from the police as well as armouries of Manipur security forces following the eruption of violence incidents that claimed nearly 100 lives and injured hundreds of people besides rendering homeless to thousands.
Official sources said that the combing operations were launched by the Army with police and paramilitary forces deployed in the state in the physical presence of the executive magistrates.
The sources said that the combined force of state police, Assam Rifles and CRPF conducted one such operation at Khoken village of Kangpoki and bordering Sangaithel village of Imphal West district.
The security forces raided the houses in these two villages. There were no reports of recovery of arms and ammunition and also picking up any suspect in the operation.
The combing operations were conducted under the aegis of the Headquarters 3 Corp and the executive magistrates were detailed at the places on the request from the Army side.
As sought by the Army, the Home department has detailed 19 executive magistrates who will be present physically while conducting the operations in Imphal West, Imphal East, Kangpokpi, Kakching, Bishnupur and Jiribam.
The official source said that four executive magistrates were detailed in Kangpokpi district where the operations are to be conducted Col Ankur CO 2/8 GR as nodal officer.
Ten executive magistrates were detailed for Imphal East and Imphal West where the operations are to be conducted with Col Amit Chaudhury Col GS IGAR (S) as nodal officer.
The Home department also detailed one executive magistrate for Kakching district, three executive magistrates for Bishnupur district and one for Jiribam district.
The sources said that the combing operations will be conducted across the sensitive areas in the hills and valley to recover illegal arms and ammunition in the possessions of the villagers as well as snatched from the police and state security forces.
According to the sources, around 2000 weapons and over five lakh ammunition were looted by unruly mobs from armouries and police stations and outposts both in hills and valley districts since violence broke out in the state on May 3 evening.
A total of 868 arms and 11,518 ammunition have been recovered till date, the source said.
Earlier, Union Home minister Amit Shah, during his four-day visit in the violence-hit Manipur, had appealed to the people to return the weapons that were stolen, failing which a combing operation will begin and strict action will be initiated.
In response to the appeal, some arms and ammunition had already been surrendered to the police in the valley districts.