May 22, 2024

MOON Desk: At least seven security personnel – five from the Manipur Police and two from the BSF – were injured on Tuesday in a suspected militant attack at the border town of Moreh in Manipur’s Tengnoupal district. This comes a day after four people belonging to the Meitei Pangal community were killed when armed miscreants opened fire into a crowd at Lilong Chingjao in Thoubal district.

The attack in Moreh took place at around 8 am on Tuesday when a team of security personnel was conducting routine operations. They were attacked with bombs and automatic weapons, and the injured were airlifted to a hospital in Imphal.

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said militants from Myanmar – Moreh borders the neighbouring country – were likely involved in the attack. “We have… established from various sources the involvement of foreign mercenaries from Myanmar, like the KNA-B and KNA-R (factions of the Kuki National Army),” Singh said. He said a large number of state and central forces have been rushed to the spot, and that counter-insurgency operations have begun. Days earlier, on Saturday night, three commandos of Manipur Police were injured in a rocket-propelled grenade attack at one of their posts in Moreh.

The CM also visited the hospitalised Meitei Pangals, who were injured in the Thoubal attack, and said: “Enough is enough. We will no longer tolerate this kind of mindless act. The government will do whatever necessary to put a stop to such acts.

The Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), the political wing of Manipur’s banned People’s Liberation Army, issued a statement claiming responsibility for the shooting in Thoubal.

It claimed in a statement that its cadres had gone to the house of one Md Hassan, an alleged drug dealer, to apprehend him. The outfit claimed a large crowd converged at the house and attacked the cadres, who opened fire. Eyewitnesses confirmed that a group of armed miscreants wearing police uniform entered Hassan’s residence in Lilong Chingjao, and threatened the people in the house, including Hassan’s wife.

The four people killed when the armed men fired at the locals were identified as Md Sirajuddin Makak (55), Md Azad Khan (35), Md Dawood Khan Phundreimayum (40), and Md Hussain Makakmayum, 25. They were all residents of Lilong Chingjao. A team from the state police and the forensic science department inspected the site of the shooting on Tuesday afternoon.

Representatives of civil society organisations, meanwhile, participated in a public meeting at Lilong. They adopted several resolutions, including a deadline of 48 hours for the government to arrest the culprits, and for the case to be handed over to the National Investigation Agency.

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