After a lull, some outlawed underground organisations in Manipur have started kidnapping children for forcing them into militant activity. On Thursday, a large number of villagers of Patsoi in Imphal West district staged a sit-in demanding the rescue of two boys believed to have been whisked away by militants.

Yumnam Joykumar, the Director General of Police, has been saying that since educated youths would not dream of joining the underground movement in Manipur, most of the outfits are forcing children to join the rebels.Surjakanta Soibam (12) and Birjit Thokchom (13) have been missing since November 28 and 29 respectively.

Surjakanta is a student of Class Eight in Pole Star School at Patsoi. His parents say they have reason to believe that former insurgent Tokyo Khirom took him away. He is also believed to have lured away Birjit, a student of Class Seven in Pari Imom Shindamshang. Despite a search by the families, they could not be located.

Kumar Thokchom, Birji’s father, told journalists on Thursday that on December 2 he had received a telephone call from his son. Using the mobile handset of some insurgents, he told his father that they were now in some part of Myanmar and implored him to rescue them. The mobile was abruptly switched off and there has been no further contact.

Police have registered an FIR.