Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh formally commissioned three hovercraft in the Loktak Lake on Monday to combat extremists.

For decades, militants have been using the biggest freshwater lake in Eastern India, as a safe haven.

Apart from bivouacking in the hard-to-access areas of the lake, they escape through it using country canoes after ambushing security personnel.

Mr. Ibobi Singh said 200 police personnel trained in counter-insurgency operations would be deployed in the lake.

The headquarters of the new counter-insurgency command post will be located at Tupul.

The hovercraft can be used on land, water and marshes. In view of the presence of water plants and biomass in the lake, the police and security forces cannot use high speed mechanised boats.

Besides the sound of the motors will forewarn the militants, who hide in the shacks constructed on the floating biomass. On some occasions, the security personnel had engaged local fishermen to row the country canoes to surprise the militants.

Director-General of Police Yumnam Joykumar said once the hovercraft started patrolling in the lake, the militants would be smoked out.