Six NSCN (K) cadres slain in K Songlung encounter
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, June 23 2013:
Six cadres of a UG group have been slain in a reported encounter with the army at K Songlung village, Senapati district this morning.
A gun battle broke out between a combined team of 10 Assam Rifles of Army's Red Shield Division and paratroopers of 73 Loktak Brigade and armed cadres of a UG group at a wooded area of Songlung village, located 20 Kms into the interior of Kangchup foothills at the junction of Imphal West and Senapati district.
The gun battle lasted for almost 3 hours and six UG cadres were killed in the battle.
Four AK assault rifles, one M-16 rifle and A-3 rifle were later recovered from the encounter site, informed a source.
Officially confirming the six slain cadres as belonging to the NSCN (K), a PIB Defence Wing statement said that based on inputs from various sources during the last one month of the presence of eight mobile groups of NSCN (K), a co-ordinated cordon and search operation was launched in the area of Songlung in Tamenglong district by security forces of Noney Battalion, under the aegis of Red Shield Division.
Significantly, the NSCN (K) has inked a ceasefire pact with the Government of India, but Manipur does not come under the cover of the ceasefire territory.
At approximately 4 pm of June 22, the militants ran into an ambush laid by the security forces.
The militants started firing at the security forces, prompting the latter to retaliate and in the ensuing gun fight, six militants were slain, said the statement.
The gun fight lasted over an hour, it said.
After the gun fight a search of the area was conducted early morning today and during the search, the bodies of six slain militants attired in battle fatigues were discovered, said PIB and added that a huge quantity of arms and ammunition were also recovered.
The recoveries included four AK 47 rifles, one M-16 Rifle and one A3 Rifle, seven magazines of AK 47, two magazines of M-16, 47 live rounds of AK 47 and 38 live rounds of M-16.The search operation is still under progress, it added.
GOC of Red Shield Division, Maj General KK Sinha, Brigadier PC Nair, Commander of Loktak Brigade visited the site to take stock of the situation.
This is the second major operation carried out by the Red Shield Division in the past one week.
On June 18, troops of Red Shield Division busted a 'likely' camp of the NSCN (K) and ZUF and recovered a huge quantity of explosives and war like stores, said PIB.
The operation was carried out under Colonel Ajay Sharma.
There were however speculations galore on the organisation to which the slain cadres belonged to, before the official confirmation from the 57 Mountain Division Search operation is going on at the encounter area till the time of filing this report.
Personnel of Keithelmanbi (Imphal-Jiribam highway) police station and troops of 10th AR were seen moving to the encounter site in a Shaktiman truck.
However, their truck broke down on the way.
Later in the afternoon, another team including personnel of Sapermeina police station was seen moving to the encounter site in another Shaktiman truck.
Yet, the corpses have not been brought to Imphal till the time of filing this report.
The corpses are expected to be brought to RIMS mortuary tomorrow morning.
Efforts to contact the district police proved futile.
K Songlung was a Kuki village located about 20 Kms away from Kangchup.
But presently, K Songlung is inhabited by another tribal group as original inhabitants of K Songlung have made their settlement at Kangchup foothills.