AR convoy evacuating 370 Tangkhul Students from MU, DMU attacked in Imphal-Ukhrul (valley) road

Representative image.

Ukhrul: Stranded Tangkhul students mostly from Dhanamanjuri University (DMU) and Manipur University who were being evacuated from Assam Rifles transit camp in Imphal came under several attacks, greeted by burning tyres, stone pelting, sticks, air-gun, sling-shot en-route Imphal-Ukhrul from unidentified miscreants in Imphal East Friday night.

The convoy led by Assam Rifles column under Major Rahul Chawla, AR 35-Sector of Ukhrul district with 370 Tangkhuls, left from the capital at 7 pm on Friday.

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Shimri Raising speaking to Ukhrul Times told this reporter that upon receiving numerous distress calls for evacuation from Tangkhul students residing in Imphal, especially Dhanamanjuri University and Manipur University hostels and localities — in some cases, students were asked to leave — Tangkhul CSOs such as Wungnao Long, Tangkhul Katamnao Long Imphal, Tangkhul Shanao Long Imphal, concerned Ukhrul district MLAs on humanitarian ground, made a concerted effort to evacuate the stranded students in the violence-torn State.

According to information received, 7 vehicles were arranged on Friday night — 4 buses, 1 ambulance, 1 mini-bus, 1 Winger along with Assam Rifles column under Major Rahul Chawla.

Shimri Raising also told that Police escort joined from Lamlai Police Station from Imphal East.

“The AR escort and the entire convey came under several attacks, involving stone pelting, sticks, air-gun, sling-shot in between Lamlong, Sahompung, Lamlai, unprovoked and without any warning from around 40 unidentified miscreants, Shimri a student leader said.

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He further told, “Manipur University Tangkhul students which came behind because of delay with special convey, including Major Rahul came under attack. I myself was targeted by a stick but luckily escaped by an inch sitting adjacent to the driver.”

However, other students were not as lucky as Shimri. One Poner Marza from Chingjaroy village received deep cut on his right wrist and right knee. Several students were reportedly injured where the entire front and back windshield of the bus and windows were smashed and shattered.

Shimri Raising further pointed out, “While there is shoot-on-sight order in place in the entire State, no security forces, nor police personnel were present in Sahompung, Lamlai turning point towards Ukhrul district. All onboard the vehicles were civilians and Tangkhul Nagas,” added Shimri.

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“Moving forward, 200 meters approximately from Lamlai turning point the convoy were stopped again. This time the unidentified Meetei/Meitei miscreants asked for identification looking for Kuki tribals. The AR intervened and fought with the miscreants. They, however, said no harm would be meted to the Tangkhuls.”

He recounted that the convoy was attacked as many as six times in Lamlong, Sahompung (just before Lamlai Police Station) and Yaingangpokpi.

Shimri pointed out that such unprovoked attacks on Naga students in the deteriorating law and order situation in the State, safety of the student community must be topmost priority. Friday’s attack will hurt the sentiments of the Tangkhul tribe, as well as create fear psychosis and traumatized the students.

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