Commando, woman killed, several injured in fresh Manipur violence

When transporting the injured to hospital, clashes with locals led to the death of a tribal woman in Moreh, 110 km from state capital Imphal

Representative image (photo: IANS)
Representative image (photo: IANS)
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IANS

A Manipur Police commando was killed and three others injured when suspected armed militants attacked them in Manipur’s Moreh along the Myanmar border on Wednesday, police said.

As security personnel tried to shift their three injured colleagues to hospital for treatment, a group of reported tribals, including women, obstructed them and clashed with the forces, owing to which a tribal woman was killed and a few others injured in the border town, 110 km from state capital Imphal, and an old and important trading centre on the India-Myanmar border.

Police officials in Imphal said police commando Wangkhem Somorjit was killed and three others injured when suspected militants attacked the security forces, who were conducting a search of different vehicles in Moreh in Tengnoupal district in search of suspected militants.

Somorjit is from the Malom area of Imphal West district.

Heavy exchange of fire between security forces and the suspected militants were reported in three different locations in Moreh areas since Wednesday morning, a police official said.

The militants reportedly also fired rocket-propelled grenade shells on the security forces. Tension ran high in the bordering areas and additional security forces including Assam Rifles units have rushed to the region to control the situation.

Apprehending fresh violence, the district administration imposed a total curfew in trouble-torn Tengnoupal district from Tuesday afternoon.

“Following inputs of a likelihood of breach of peace, disturbance of public tranquillity and grave danger to human lives and property within the revenue jurisdiction of Tengnoupal district the total curfew was imposed in the district,” a notification said.

On Monday night, leader of the state's ruling BJP Hemkholal Mate (36) and former Indian Army soldier Philip Khaikholal Khongsai (49) were arrested from Moreh in connection with the killing of sub-divisional police officer Chingtham Anand Kumar in October last year.

Upon the arrest of the duo, tribals in the border town on Tuesday demanded their release, while Imphal valley witnessed widespread protests demanding the case be handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), and the detainees be given exemplary punishment.

Since 30 December 2023, at least 10 Manipur Police commandos and a Border Security Force (BSF) trooper have been injured in different incidents of attacks by suspected Kuki militants in Moreh.

People from the Kuki, Meitei, Naga, Tamil, Pangal (Muslim), Gorkha, Sikh and other communities have been residing for decades in peace and harmony in Moreh, which is just four km to the west of Myanmar’s largest border town Tamu.

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