Massive operation to flush out militants from Manipur's Pumlen Lake

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Imphal, July 1 (ANI): After a successful operation in the Loktak Lake area, security forces have now focused their efforts on flushing out militants from Pumlem Lake, the second largest freshwater wetland in Manipur.Pumlen Lake is situated in Thoubal district, 40 km from Imphal.As a part of flushing out militants from the lake area, a combined team of police commandos along with 21 Assam Rifles and 12 Maratha Light Infantry troops cordoned the Toppa Chingjao hillock at Pumlen Lake.

During the operation, security forces burnt down thatched houses that were being used as shelters by the militants.While returning from the operation, the police gunned down two militants at Mayai Lambi in Imphal West.

"One AK-56 rifle, two magazines with 42 live rounds, one mm pistol along with three live rounds were recovered during the combined force operation," said Ch. Anand Singh, sub inspector, Imphal West.

Toppa Chingjao hillock was once a hotbed of militant activities. This has caused enormous problems to around 100 villagers from 20 households who have been residing around the lake area.

Security forces have started conducting regular search operations in the area to restore peace and normalcy.

The villagers of lake had to vacate their villages and take shelter at the homes of relatives or friends in the neighbouring villages.

"The situation is getting worse day-by-day. For fear of militant threats, we have left our village to save our lives. We do not want to die," said Tomba Singh, a villager.Subhaschandra Singh, another villager, said, "We are poor people and earning our livelihood on a daily basis. We are fisherman and the little we earn, I support my family. If we don't work for a day, we will starve. It has become really difficult for us."

They only come to the village during daytime for their domestic chores and then go back in the evening. All they want is peace and normalcy in the area so that they resume their lives, which have been affected by militant activities.

It is expected that normalcy will soon be returned. (ANI)

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