Two Manipur government officials have been released after their kidnapping by suspected Kuki militants on August 8, official sources said on Wednesday.
M Priyokumar and W Ibopishak, attached to the horticulture department, were on Tuesday brought in a vehicle by their captors and released at the Kangla Park area in Imphal in the heart of the state capital. The kidnappers had earlier sought a ransom of Rs 50 lakh from the government for the release of the duo, but their demand was rejected, sources said.
Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam had said that if Kuki militants were found to be behind the kidnapping, the government would bring the matter to the notice of the 'Joint Monitoring Group' which was supervising the 'Suspension of Operation' (SOO) agreement in operation between the two sides.
As per the SOO agreement, state and central paramilitary forces would cease operations against certain Kuki militant outfits as the latter were willing to hold peace talks with the government, sources added.
The kidnapping of the duo from the horticulture department is the second incident this month involving government officials. Seven persons, among them two senior Irrigation and Flood Control department engineers, were kidnapped on August 1, again by suspected Kuki militants. They were, however, released on August 5.