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Tehelka Exposé Comes True: Assam Rifles Stages ‘Surrender’

Top police officials call the Tehelka report baseless, but local journalists are convinced of its authenticity

GUWAHATI, Jun 14: The Tehelka exposé on the fake surrender of militants in Manipur has come true. On Tuesday, 41 cadres of the People’s United Liberation Front (PULF), including its three top leaders, surrendered in Imphal. They laid down around 22 sophisticated arms in front of Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh at the headquarters of IGAR (South).

On Monday, Tehelka had reported that around 45 youth from Thoubal, the home constituency of the Chief Minister, will surrender before him on Tuesday. The documents accessed by Tehelka showed that the surrendered youth did not belong to the Azad Khan faction of the PULF, as was being claimed. They are, in fact, daily-waged laborers, mechanics in tire shops, rickshaw-pullers and over-ground collaborators of the PULF.

Top PULF leader Umar Farooq led the band of ‘fake militants’ to stage the surrender drama that unfolded in Imphal. Quoting an interrogation report of a surrendered rebel, the Tehelka report had detailed how Farooq, who was staying in the Mantri Pukhri camp of the Assam Rifles, was involved in running an extortion network in connivance with the Assam Rifles. The Tehelka report also pointed out how the Assam Rifles designed the alleged fake surrender.

“The Tehelka report has once again been an eye opener. The Assam Rifles was vehement in calling the report baseless, but the confusion was writ large on the faces of its officers. The local media here is very much convinced that the Tehelka report holds merit,” says a senior local journalist, who did not want to be identified.

State DGP Y Joykumar Singh, who was present at the event, termed the report ‘baseless’. IG of Assam Rifles CA Kishnan also took the same line while interacting with local reporters, who were trying to grill the top official on the Tehelka exposé. Ironically the Assam Rifles that was till Monday claiming that it would be a ‘surrender ceremony’ went on to request the local media in Manipur to term the event on Tuesday as a ‘home coming ceremony of militants’ perhaps to save face.

*The opinion is written by Ratnadip Choudhury

*The writer is a Principal Correspondent with Tehelka and can be reached at ratnadip@tehelka.com

(Courtesy: Tehelka)

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