Imphal: Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Friday awarded cash reward of Rs 10 lakh to an Imphal East Police team for their daring rescue of three labourers abducted by suspected Kuki National Liberation Front (KNLA) outfit.
During a function held at the chief minister’s secretariat, CM Biren Singh announced that commendation certificates would be given to all the personnel and officers who took part in the operation.
Singh said that suspected KNLA cadre abducted three labourers engaged in the construction work of a bridge at Laikhong near Nongpok Keithelmanbi on February 7, at about 10 pm.
Soon after the matter was reported to Thoubal Dam Police Station on February 8, a team of police comprised of Imphal East District Police and Imphal East District Police commandos launched search operations at multiple locations, including Keihao, Henjang, Kamuching forest hill range.
According to an official statement, the three hostages were safely rescued from a hill range located between Bolijang and New Bolijang village after a fierce gunfight between the police and the militants. The gunfight, which lasted for at least two hours, started on Friday morning at around 5 am.
However, no reports of injuries or casualties were reported from both sides.
The three rescued labourers have been identified as Yumnam Sushilkumar Singh (30) of Thoubal Athokpam Makha Leikai, Laishram Debchandra Singh (50) of Khangabok Mamang Leikai and Ngangbam Gunadhar (55) of Kanglasiphai.
Later, the rescued labourers told the police that they were kidnapped by the suspected militants for ransom.
The abductors, however, escaped after the gunfight spot and ran towards the thick jungle, leaving behind the hostages and one AK-56 assault rifle, the statement said.
Sending out a strong message to those not abiding by the law, CM Biren Singh said, “We would deal with anti-social elements, mischief mongers and law breakers with an iron hand.”
Urging the people not to give shelter to such miscreants, Singh said that search operations will continue until the abductors are arrested.