Police have busted a criminal gang of Village Defence Force (VDF) personnel who are attached to a police station terrorising the pharmacists in Thangal market in Imphal. Masquerading as insurgents, the members of the VDC have been serving extortion threats to the pharmacists, a statement issued by Jayanta K the Imphal West district police superintendent said. Pharmacists who could not afford to pay ransom had to close down their shops. Now that the criminals are held in police custody, he appealed to the pharmacists to reopen the shops. Sources said that the government has taken steps to terminate the services of these arrested VDF personnel.

In a crackdown, district police arrested Rocky Salam and Kene Khangembam on Saturday. They have disclosed names of other accomplices and efforts are on to arrest these absconding accused persons. The arrested persons have been remanded in police custody for seven days pending further inquiries. According to reports, pharmacies have started functioning from Sunday morning.