The rapes were known after the girls came to Imphal and spoke to reporters at a conference on Wednesday. A senior ZUF leader said both the cadres had defected from the party and there was a price on their heads.
One of the culprits shot himself with his gun in front of one of the victims inside the quarters of a chowkidar of the Manipur irrigation and flood control department office at Khoupum village in Tamenglong.
The four Zeliangrong girls are students of classes VI-X. They were returning from school when they heard gunshots. They were afraid of being hit by stray bullets and took shelter in a nearby house, the girls told reporters.
"Minutes after the firing stopped, we came out of the house. Just then, the two cadres carrying guns shot at the ground near us. They dragged us inside the chowkidar's quarters," one of the girls said.
The cadres locked two of the schoolgirls in the toilet and raped the other two, said a girl. Later, they dragged out the two girls from the toilet and raped them, too.
After raping the girls, one of the cadres pointed his gun to his head and threatened to kill himself along with one of the victims. He then shot himself and the terrified girl managed to run out of the room.
On hearing the gunshot, the other cadre rushed out and fled, the victims said.