Commanding officer (CO) of 46 Assam Rifles, his wife and son were among seven killed in a deadly ambush laid by suspected rebels in Manipur’s Churachandpur district on Saturday morning, according to police.
Meanwhile, many including Manipur Governor La Ganesan and chief minister N Biren Singh expressed deep shock and pain while strongly condemning the incident that also inflicted serious injuries to five soldiers and minor injuries to three others.
The police said that suspected rebels ambushed the convoy of 46 Assam Rifles near Thinghat village under Behiang police station of the district bordering Myanmar today morning, around 10 am.
CO of the 46 Assam Rifles identified as Colonel Viplav Tripathi, his wife Anuja Tripathi and their six-year-old son Abeer Tripathi died on the spot along with three other soldiers including the driver of the vehicle they were travelling in, the police further said.
Another soldier succumbed to critical injuries on the way to the nearest hospital, the police added.
Identities of other slain and injured soldiers could not be confirmed for the time being.
However, of the five seriously injured soldiers, one has been shifted to Shija hospital in Imphal after his condition became critical while three of them were admitted at Leimakhong Army hospital in Imphal West and two were being treated at the unit hospital of IGAR (South) at Mantripukhri, Imphal.
Reports said that the heavily armed attackers opened fire indiscriminately toward the convoy of the Assam Rifles CO who was returning from one of its outposts near the international border after triggering bombs.
The soldiers retaliated resulting in a cross firing for several minutes. However, there were no reports of casualty on the side of the attackers, the police also said.
The attackers might have escaped to Myanmar territory by crossing the international border, the police said.
With reinforcement, troops of the Assam Rifles have launched a massive operation immediately to hunt down the attackers.
Manipur police have also rushed to the spot.
Manipur Governor strongly condemned the “dastardly act of the criminal” while expressing his deep shock to hear the sad news of the killing of the CO along with his wife and four other Quick Reaction Team (QRT) personnel of the 46 Assam Rifles.
Five sustained serious injuries and three minor injuries in the attack carried out by unknown miscreants, suspected to be underground cadres, the condemnation statement of the Governor said.
He also conveyed his deepest condolences to the bereaved family members while praying to God for peace to the department souls and strength to the bereaved family members to bear this profound sorrow.
While strongly condemning the “cowardly attack” on a convoy of 46 AR, chief minister N Biren Singh stated, in a tweet, that the state forces and paramilitary forces were already on their job to track down the militants.