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January 26, 2010

Manipur tourist spot Loktak Lake a hotbed of militants

     Imphal: The Loktak Lake area in Manipur, which is a fresh water tourist spot, has become a hotbed of militant activities and this has affected tourism in the area, despite a recent army operation. The presence of militants on the periphery of the lake has come as a huge blow to villagers who want peace and normalcy. Recently, “Operation Loktak” was carried out by troops of the Maratha Light Infantry and 33 Assam Rifles under the supervision of the Indian Army’s 57 Mountain Division at Wapokpi, Khordak and Laphupat Tera. Operation Loktak was first launched in 1999. In 2009, ‘Operation Summer Storm’ was conducted by security forces to flush out militants in Loktak Lake areas, and 12 militants of People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) were gunned down. During the recent operation a heavy exchange of gunfire and bomb explosions could be heard from Khordak Awang Leikai. A soldier of the 33 Assam Rifles succumbed to his injures. “Such operation has taken placed earlier as well. The security forces came in large convoy around 6 in the morning. Later, some more arrived in motorboats,” said Memma, a villager. In another operation in the adjacent village of Ningthoukhong and Moirang, a combined team of Bishnupur district commandos, 4/8 Gorkha Rifles and 16 Maratha Light Infantry apprehended two cadres of KCP (MC) Lamyanba Khuman group. The duo was involved in the abduction of Lamabam Tomchou, a Pradhan of Terakhongsangbi in Bishnupur district, who was later released. “We had raided two places at Ningthoukhong and Moirang, which is a drive against KCP-MC (Lamyanba group). We managed to apprehend a very important cadre,” said Inspector Sudhir Singh.
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