Ambush direct attack on me, people of Manipur: Biren
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, June 10 2024: Strongly condemning the ambush on the advance convoy team en-route to Jiribam along the Imphal-Jiribam Road on Monday morning, chief minister N Biren Singh has said that it was a direct attack on him for which the government will do the needful.

The state government will definitely take appropriate steps to bring back law and order in the state, the chief minister assured, and urged the people to help the government in maintaining stability.

N Biren visited Shija Hospitals and enquired about the condition of Moirangthem Ajesh alias Bobo, who was injured in the Kuki militants' attack at T Zaizang village near Kotlen along NH-37 (Imphal-Jiribam road) .

Bobo suffered injuries on his back.

Biren told media persons that as the chief minister of a state he was in New Delhi for the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and heard about the unfortunate flare up of violence in Jiribam.

"I talked to the suffering people of Jiribam district through mobile phone and they were quite relieved when I promised to look into their suffering personally.

However, it is unexpected that my advance convoy team was attacked on the way to Jiribam," Biren said, adding that he came to Shija hospitals to enquire condition of the driver injured in the attack.

Fortunately, the driver is out of danger, he added.

According to CM Biren, the state government had been treading cautiously ever since the violence broke out in May, 2023.However, the perpetrators seemingly disregarding existence of government is regrettable.

The attack on the convoy was akin to attacking chief minister of the state and the government has long been watching their acts with the belief that they would realise and understand the issue, Biren said and appealed to people to support the state government and stop criticism.

He also said that state government will do something to restore law and order in the state.

Though he did not disclose the exact date to visit Jiribam, the chief minister said he will inform the public well in time before visiting Jiribam.

Termed the ambush as a direct attack on himself and the people of the state, he affirmed that the "rule of law" will be established.

Biren said, "It is very unfortunate and highly condemnable.

It's an attack on the chief minister, which means a direct attack on the people of the state.

The state government has to do something....we will take a decision" .

He added, "Earlier, the state government did not retaliate much in the hope that an understanding could be achieved through talks" .

"However, certain violent acts have been perpetuated on people as if a state government does not exist.

This has hurt me deeply.

There have been consistent insults to existing state machineries, and we have tolerated them for so long.

The attack on an advance security team of the CM is an attack on the CM himself," Biren reiterated, adding, "All are requested to decide for themselves who are with the government and who are against it".

On his interactions with the affected people of Jiribam, the chief minister said, "I spoke with them over the phone and told them I would come in two or three days and look into their requirements, and they were happy.

I returned from Delhi as the situation in the state was important".

Meanwhile, additional state and central forces, including Assam Rifles and CRPF, rushed to the ambush site and launched search operations to apprehend the perpetrators.

However, no arrests have been made.

Jiribam district has been affected by violence since June 6 .

More than 70 houses have been torched, along with two police outposts and one forest beat office.

Around 600 people have been displaced due to the violence.

Two police checkposts, a forest beat office and at least 100 houses were set afire in Jiribam by attackers last Friday and Saturday in a fresh bout of violence in Jiribam district after the killing of 59-year-old Soibam Saratkumar Singh, a farmer, in Jiribam last Thursday.

The district administration has imposed a curfew in Jiribam and adjoining Tamenglong district for an indefinite period after protests erupted over the killing of Saratkumar Singh, who belongs to the Meitei community.

An official in Imphal said that Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey discussed the Jiribam situation with the Chief Minister and took stock of the prevailing situation in the district.

The Governor requested the Chief Minister to take all possible steps to bring the situation under control, the official said.

More than 200 people, mostly belonging to the Meitei community, have taken shelter in a newly set up relief camp after violence broke out following the killing of Saratkumar Singh.

Bordering Assam, Jiribam is a mixed-populated district inhabited by Meiteis, Nagas, Kukis, Muslims and non-Manipuris.

The district has so far largely remained unaffected by the ethnic violence which has affected Manipur since May 3 last year.

The ethnic conflict between Meiteis and Kuki-Zomi in several districts of Manipur has so far claimed over 220 lives in both communities.

Over 1,500 people in both communities and over 70,000 people have been displaced from their homes and villages in the over-a-year-long ethnic violence.

The rioting has also left thousands of houses, government and non-govern-ment properties, and religious structures destroyed or damaged.

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