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Army releases 12 militants after being surrounded by mob of 1,200 to avoid casualties- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The Army released 12 militants in Manipur in the wee hours of Sunday after being surrounded by a mob of 1,200-1,500. 

A defence ministry statement said the decision was taken to avoid collateral damage and it demonstrated the army’s humane side. 

The 12 militants belong to the Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup or KYKL, an Imphal valley-based insurgent group.

Acting on specific intelligence, the security forces launched an operation in Itham village in the Imphal East district.

“Specific search after laying cordon was undertaken to avoid hardships to other locals. In the ensuing operation, 12 KYKL cadres were apprehended along with arms, ammunition and war-like stores,” the defence ministry statement said. 

It said the rebels apprehended including the self-styled “Lt Col” Moirangthem Tamba alias Uttam, the alleged mastermind of the ambush on the personnel of Dogra regiment in 2015.

“A mob of approximately 1,200-1,500, led by women and the local leader, immediately surrounded the target area and prevented security forces from going ahead with the operation. Repeated appeals to the aggressive mob to let the security forces carry on with operation as per law did not yield any positive result,” the statement said.

The army said keeping in mind the sensitivity of the issue which could likely lead to huge casualties, a ‘mature decision’ was taken by the Indian Army to hand over the apprehended 12 militants to the local leader. 

Subsequently, the personnel lifted the cordon and left the area with the seized weapons and war-like stores recovered from the insurgents. 

“The mature decision on the part of the Operational Commander shows the humane face of the Indian Army to avoid any collateral damage during the ongoing unrest in Manipur,” the statement said.

The army appealed to the people in Manipur to assist the security forces in maintaining law and order and to bring peace and stability.

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