'Overpowering' Indian Army by Kuki militants
COCOMI writes to COAS, seeks urgent action
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 17 2024: The Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) has written to Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande on the alarming incident of Chin-Kuki narco-terrorists overpowering the Indian Army at the border town of Moreh on January 17, 2024 .

Giving a detailed account of the unlawful activities and threats posed by Chin-Kuki narco-terrorists to the National security, the COCOMI has submitted a representation to the Chief of Army Staff seeking his immediate intervention.

It is a matter of great concern that a video clip of an incident involving the Chin-Kuki narco-terrorists and overpowering the Indian Army in the Moreh border town areas of Manipur on January 17, 2024 has gone viral, the COCOMI wrote to the COAS.

'Overpowering' Indian Army by Kuki militants
'Overpowering' Indian Army by Kuki militants

"In the history of the Indian Army, such visuals of our brave soldiers being openly threatened with guns, rocket launchers, and other weapons have never been witnessed before.

This incident not only undermines the integrity and authority of the armed forces, but also poses a significant threat to National security", it pointed out.

It is crucial that a thorough investigation is con- ducted to determine how such an incident occurred or is it that you are being advised or instructed by the Government of India in New Delhi to maintain restraint while confronting with armed Kuki militants as they have been working with the Indian army since the execution of the Suspension of Operation (SoO) since 2005, the COCOMI said.

Saying that such attitude towards unregulated armed groups giving enough time to take their position in the confrontation could have kept the army personnel's life in danger, it urged the COAS to identify any lapses in security measures that may have allowed it to happen.

"Moreover, it is imperative that appropriate steps are taken to ensure that our forces are equipped with the necessary resources and support to effectively counter such threats in the future.

The safety and morale of our brave soldiers should be our highest priority", it asserted.

Till date, several brave Indian Army soldiers and State police personnel have lost their lives at the hands of the Kuki militant groups.

It is disheartening to mention a few of these incidents that are in the public domain:
1.On 16th May 2023, Assam Rifles jawan Alok Rao was killed by Kuki militants at Dolaithabi, Imphal East and Saikul border area.
2.On 5th June 2023, BSF jawan Ranjit Yadav lost his life in an attack by Kuki militants from Churachand-pur side at Serou area in Kakching district.
3.On 31st October 2023, Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) of Moreh sub-division, Tengnoupal district, Chingtham Anand-kumar was killed by an armed Kuki group.
4.On January 17, 2024, State police personnel Takhellambam Saileshor and Wangkhem Somorjit were killed by armed Kuki groups at Moreh.
5.On the same day (January 17), three BSF jawans namely; Gourav Kumar, Sobram Singh and Ramji were seriously injured in an open attack by Kuki groups in broad daylight at Moreh.
6.On the early morning of February 17, 2024 one more BSF jawan got bullet injuries from the bullets of Kuki militants at Sugnu under Kakching district.
These incidents represent an alarming departure from the historical precedent, where never before has the Indian Army been so openly overpowered by armed groups, compelling them to retreat from their deployment area, with no visible retaliation against the open attacks carried out by Kuki militants injuring and killing several Indian army personnel.

Immediate attention and action is imperative to address this distressing situation, the COCOMI said.

It added that a thorough investigation is indispensable to ascertain the circum- stances surrounding the incidents and identify any security lapses including possible advisories from the Government in New Delhi.

"Equally crucial is the implementation of measures to equip our forces adequately and provide them with the necessary support to effectively counter such threats in coordination with the State police forces in the future.

Safeguarding the safety and morale of our brave soldiers must be our paramount concern", COCOMI said in their representation.

It then urged the COAS to personally intervene, oversee a comprehensive investigation, and take prompt action to rectify this situation.

The current criticism faced by the Indian Army in the region, compounded by the perceived indifference in the Assam Rifles' handling of the situation, demands urgent attention, it said.

"Our armed forces have long been a source of pride and strength for the Nation, and it is imperative to safeguard their reputation.

The people of Manipur place their complete trust in your leadership, and we are confident that you will address this matter with the urgency and seriousness it warrants", it continued.

It is crucial to safeguard the integrity and honour of the Indian Army, as well as guarantee the safety and security of the indigenous people in Manipur, especially in vulnerable areas like Moreh and other parts along the Indo-Myanmar border, COCOMI added.

Copies of the same representation were also forwarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister N Biren Singh.

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