With the formal arrest on Tuesday of militant leader Thokchom Nando, who has been languishing in prison on the charge of murdering the young daughter of a Minister, police claim to have made a major breakthrough in the inquiry into the assassination attempt on A. Mobi, president of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU), who also edits a vernacular newspaper, Sanaleibak. Nando is being probed over the grenade attack at the house of Mr. Mobi on the night of August 11.

The arrest of Nando, who has been in the Sajiwa Central jail, followed the arrest of a woman cadre of the outfit headed by him. The cadre was identified as Thokchom Indrani. She was arrested on Tuesday along with one 9 mm pistol and 25 rounds of ammunition, explosives and other incriminating materials. She reportedly admitted that she was an active member of the Kangleipak Communist Party (Nando faction). She was in charge of collection of illegal taxes.

Nando has been in jail since 2003 after he allegedly abducted and murdered a young school girl, Elizabeth Luingamla, daughter of Rural Minister Francis Ngajokpa. He was rearrested in 2009 in connection with another murder, and in 2010 relating to extortion cases.

The police are keeping silent about the evidence available against Nando and the progress made in the interrogation. Meanwhile, newspaper offices are back to normal. Mr. Mobi told The Hindu that he had not heard further from the underground organisation which had been after him.

But the six other editors, leaving nothing to chance, have changed their mobile numbers and become inaccessible.