4 militant, 1 police commando, 5 civilians dead in parts of Manipur’s adjoining hill-valley areas

Manipur violence

Readers note: Ukhrul Times was not able to independently verify the facts as claimed by both sides.

Imphal: At least one Manipur police commando, “4 suspected Kuki militants” (as per reliable source), and 5 civilians were reportedly killed in what appears to be a coordinated attack launched by suspected Kuki militants during the wee hours of Sunday in the adjoining parts of Imphal that is still continuing while filing this report.

A police commando was shot dead while another was injured between Sugnu and Seour in Kakching district on Sunday. The police commando identified as ASI Thokchom Kiran (47) succumbed to his injuries at Raj Medicity, according to sources.

Reports have come in from valley-based media outlets that 5 civilians died in today’s ongoing attacks and skirmishes ensuing in the peripheral areas of valley districts, while over 10 civilians are reported to be wounded.

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The Frontier Manipur reporter Paojel Chaoba in his live coverage Sunday evening said that scores of houses were burnt from both the tribal and non-tribal communities — villages belonging to the Meitei community, namely Tangjeng, Napat, Serou and Tangjeng Khunou were burnt to the ground, while Kuki villages of Langching, Zou Veng, Sawomphai were also burnt. He also reported that over a thousand Meities are stuck at Serou, while police are ambushed at Serou Lamkhai. Paojel also added that only Manipur police commandos are engaged in the aggressive face-offs, and skirmishes.

According to The Imphal Free Press, 3 from Wangoo Chandanpokpi under Bishnupur district, reportedly died while trying to save their house being set ablaze. The 3 have been identified as Amom Yaifaba (17), son of A Imoba of Wangoo Ahallup; Thokchom Naotomba (30), son of Imoba of Wangoo Pungjao Makhong and Khumanthem Kenedy (24), son of Iboyaima. The report further added that one A Basanta (30) of Phayeng in Imphal West and Kenedy Khumanthem (23) of Sugnou Lamkhai succumbed to their injury.

Meanwhile, a Churachandpur based news-site, The Hills Journal (THJ) reported that gun firing between Tribal Village Volunteers and Manipur police commandos took place in Serou area bordering Kakching and Chandel districts Sunday morning. The report said that Meitei miscreants shielded by the State Police Commandos torched Langching, a tribal village, in the wee hours of Sunday. In retaliation to the attack on Kuki-Zo village, the tribal groups burnt down one Private School belonging to the Meitei community. THJ reported 3 injuries from Sunday’s incident — 2 sustained injury from bomb blast and one from gunshot — are all admitted in Churachandpur district hospital.

THJ also reported that the Meitei mobs also burnt down eight tribal villages belonging to the Kuki community. The list of villages burnt down included Langching, Sugnu Tribal, Zou Veng, Khodang, Gothol, H. Gamnom, Khulim and Munnomjang. It also reported that Meitei miscreants on Saturday midnight torched Smartstalk School located at Kangchup, Tuikun village, Hinnom Veng near Chingkhong Bazar, and Singda Kuki near Singda Bazar. The villages and the School falls under Kangpokpi district, it added.

Reports of house being set ablaze by suspected Kuki militants at Gwaltabi under Yaingampokpi Police Station, Imphal East area was reported on Sunday morning.

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In another news, chief minister N Biren Singh on Sunday said the government strongly condemned attacks on unarmed civilians in the peripheral areas of valley districts. He said the government will uproot “armed terrorists from the State.

Biren while briefing media persons on Sunday said that the fight is between “armed terrorists trying to disintegrate Manipur and the State government assisted by the Centre”.

The Chief Minister said the government is also deeply saddened by the casualties on both sides and assured all possible steps in bringing back normalcy. He said that the spurt of violent attacks on civilian houses in the in the past one or two days seemed well-planned and simultaneous to show their capacity is strongly condemnable, especially when Union Minister of State for Home, Nityanand Rai is in the State and group peace missions are being formed as part of efforts to bring back peace in the State.

Stating that those trying to break the State and disrupt peaceful coexistence in the State are enemies of all the 34 communities residing together in the State, N. Biren Singh said that the government will continue to face every such challenge. Biren said the government will not allow disintegration of Manipur, protect the State‚Äôs integrity and uproot these armed terrorists from the State. He further appealed to all 34 communities in the State to face these challenges unitedly and to have faith and trust in the government.

The chief minster also reassured that the government will face every challenge against the territorial integrity of the State, attacks on life and property of the people. He further assured the public that the State force is well trained and well equipped.

Biren also appealed the people to support and pray for the commandos, security forces and to encourage them. The State force is directly under the State Home department and that there is no restriction on them from anyone, he clarified. He continued that following the identification of 38 vulnerable areas, other vulnerable areas have also been identified and that the State police has been conducting operations.

N. Biren Singh in the press briefing also said that in retaliatory and defensive operations against the “terrorist groups” who are using sophisticated arms against the civilian population, around 30 of “these terrorists” have been killed in different areas. He added a few have also been arrested by the security forces.

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