GUWAHATI: Amidst reports of looted firearms and youth carrying sophisticated weapons donning camouflage uniform in the state, the Assam Rifles have revealed that insurgents are using modified vehicles resembling the Central paramilitary force’s official automotives.
In a confidential letter, the Churachandpur-based headquarters of the 27 Sector of Assam Rifles alerted the Superintendent of Police of Churachandpur district about these illicit vehicle modifications, requesting immediate action to prevent any potential incidents.
The local press reported that the letter, dated September 18, details that certain Meitei miscreants, with the assistance of valley-based insurgent groups (VBIGs), have transformed used TATA 407 vehicles from the civilian market to imitate those used by Assam Rifles, including the official insignia.
Positioned in the general Kakching area, these modified vehicles potentially pose a risk for “anti-national activities” and may be utilised to tarnish the Assam Rifles’ reputation. The correspondence also called for proactive measures and dissemination of this intelligence to prevent any detrimental incidents.
Amplifying concerns, earlier on September 16, the Manipur police had arrested five individuals possessing sophisticated weaponry and wearing camouflage uniforms on September 16. A counterfeit identity card was subsequently showcased by the police on a popular micro-blogging website warning citizens of its illegitimacy and affirming no such card had been issued by them.
Senior police officials voiced concerns about individuals posing as police commandos, with escalating reports of extortion and threats emanating from various districts, disrupting their efforts to stabilize the situation.
Addressing this concern, Chief Minister N Biren Singh, in a statement, issued a stringent warning to those in possession of stolen arms, urging them to surrender within 15 days. In case of non-compliance, comprehensive search operations would be conducted across the state, and anyone linked to illegal weapons would face severe legal consequences.
In line with recommendations from the Manipur Human Rights Commission, the state government directed the police to retrieve arms and ammunition stolen during the ethnic riots from both security force armouries and the Churachandpur gun shop.