Arrested NSCN (IM) cadres. (File image).

Two NSCN (IM) cadres have been arrested with sophisticated weapons following a fierce gun battle with security forces in Manipur’s Bishnupur district.

The arrested NSCN (IM) cadres have been identified as Jaolen Chiru, 26, and Janthayai Longmei, 41, The Hindu reported.

The encounter took place on Saturday near Laimaton in the old Cachar road now used as a by-pass highway.

The National Highways 2 remained closed as the bridge over the Irang river collapsed a few days ago and the Imphal-Dimapur highway remained suspended following landslides.

Police said acting on a tip off that that some armed persons were extorting illegal taxes from the vehicles that ply along the old Cachar road, a team of Bishnupur police rushed to spot.

While the commandos were interrogating passers-by some persons started firing at them.

While retaliating, additional police commandos and personnel of 29 Assam Rifles rushed to the spot. There were protracted exchanges of fire. It is believed that the attackers retreated shortly.

Once the firing stopped, the combined team combed the areas and found the two injured cadres.

An AK-47 rifle, a magazine, a China-made hand grenade, one 9 mm pistol and assorted live ammunition were recovered from the area.

Some incriminating documents linking the cadres to the NSCN (IM) were also found.

The team also recovered Rs15, 250 in cash. During preliminary interrogation, the two admitted that they were members of the NSCN (IM) and that they had been extorting illegal taxes from vehicles.

Police have also seized one van used by them. Three other NSCN (IM) cadres managed to flee.

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