Kom tribe Army jawan on leave abducted and killed in Manipur; Kom tribe stage protests

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Imphal: An Army jawan belonging to the Kom tribe in Manipur who was on leave was abducted and later killed the following day by unidentified assailants in Manipur amid the prevailing ethnic violence between the Meitei and Kuki-Zo communities since May 3, 2023. 

Serto Thangthang Kom (41) was a jawan deployed at DSC Platoon, Leimakhong, as per information provided by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Kohima & Imphal, Ministry of Defence.

According to the police, Serto Thangthang Kom was abducted by three unidentified armed assailants from his residence located in Tarung, Neikanlong village in Imphal West district.

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The abduction occurred on a Saturday morning at approximately 10:15 AM.

His body was found with a bullet wound to his ear at Khuningthek under the jurisdiction of Sagolmang Police Station on Sunday around 6 AM.

The police took custody of Serto Thangthang Kom’s body and deposited it at JNIMS morgue for further investigation.

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Originally from Litan in Chandel district, late soldier Serto Thangthang Kom is survived by his wife and two children.

In connection to the Serto Thangthang Kom’s cold blooded killing, the Kom community has protested vehemently, staging wide protests in different parts of Manipur state. One ongoing protest in Thayong Community Hall under Kangpokpi district has placards written, among the 200 odd protestors, “We want protection of Kom community,” “Kom tribe is an Indigenous community of Manipur,” “We condemn killing of Serto Thangthang Kom,” “Stop killing,” among others.

In another news, Manipur police on Sunday informed that 5 persons were arrested with sophisticated weapons in camouflage uniform in an operation on September 16. “There have been reports of extortion threats, misuse of police uniform and impersonation by armed miscreants,” police said.

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The five arrested persons were produced before Judicial Magistrate and remanded into further police custody. Strict legal action is being taken against these anti-social elements, police said.

Manipur police also added that in response to the arrest, large number of people came out to protest and tried to storm Porompat Police Station demanding release of the 5 arrested persons. Joint security forces repelled the attack by firing tear gas.

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