Kuki militants butcher three including father-son duo
Six including two CDOs injured in follow-up clash, AR impedes police chase

Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, August 05 2023: Kuki militants sneaked into a small Meetei village at Kwakta Lamkhai Ward No 8 under Phougakchao Ikhai police station by crossing buffer zone manned by central security forces, and butchered three civilians including a father-son duo during their sleep in the wee hour of Saturday.

In the follow up violence, six persons including two personnel of Bishnupur district commandos were injured in a gunfight with the Kuki militants.

The incident occurred around 2.45 am on Saturday while the victims identified as Yumnam Pishak (70), his son Yumnam Premkumar (36) and their neighbour Yumnam Jiten (46), were sleeping at home.

Premkumar was a VDF member posted at Phubala VDF post.

The tiny Meetei village is said to be surrounded by Kuki villages.

Source said that all the women, children and elders of the village have fled and taken refuge in different relief camps after the violence which started on May 3 .

On Friday, the three came back home to watch over their properties.

In the wee hour, as they were in deep slumber, the Kuki militants, who sneaked into the village after crossing security posts in the buffer zones created by central security forces, barged into the home of Pishak and Premkumar.

They dragged them out to the courtyard and butchered them with machetes before shooting and killing them.

In the meantime, another group of the Kuki militants entered the home of Jiten and shot him on his head after dragging him out of bed.

They also burned his bed by pouring fuel, which partially burned the mattress and mosquito net.

According to police, the three used to stay in a relief camp but had returned to their residences at Kwakta on Friday after the situation improved.

Soon after the incident, an irate mob gathered at Kwakta and wanted to head towards Churachandpur but was stopped by security personnel.

Eyewitnesses said several houses were burnt at Ukha Tampak in Bishnupur district by a mob in retaliation of the murders.

Across Imphal valley, women protesters came out on the streets and burnt tyres to block the movement of vehicles.

In the wake of renewed violence, the district administration clamped curfew from 10.30 am in the twin Imphal districts.

Police sources said a few people came to Meitei areas crossing the buffer zone and fired on them.

The buffer zone guarded by central forces is made more than 2 km ahead of the Kwakta area in the Bishnupur district Following the incident, troops of police and Manipur commandos .cordoned off the area in search of the miscreants.

According to sources, the exchange of firing with both groups is going on at the western side of Kwakta and Terakhongshangbi.

One Meira Paibi, one commando and two civilians were also injured.

After getting First aid at Kwakta and Bishnupur District Hospital, they were shifted to Rajmedicity.

Upon receiving the information, local residents rushed to the village from the nearby relief camp.

Top officers of Bishnupur district police also came to the spot and took stock of the situation.

There are Meitei Pangal houses on the northern side of houses of the three victims while on the southern side, there are abandoned Kuki houses some 100 metres away.

The eastern side is flanked by Meitei Pangal houses and western side by open paddy field.

Police collected evidences and took the bodies to morgue.

In the meantime, Bishnupur district commandos as well as village volunteers of the area went after the Kuki militants, who entered Pholjang village, which lies in the western side of Kwakta Ward No 9 after crossing the field.

On receiving information of the advancing state police commandos, Assam Rifles team came out and blocked the road leading to the Kuki village by using three Casper armoured trucks to prevent the police commandos from pursuing the fleeing Kuki militants.

The unethical move from Assam Rifles did not go well with the police commandos led by SP Bishnupur, who had a heated verbal confrontation with the AR team.

After a heated exchange of words for about 30 minutes, the AR team left the area.

By the time, the fleeing Kuki militants had already taken their position to ambush the advancing police team.

As the CDO team tried to enter the Kuki village in search of the murderers, the Kuki militants attacked the CDO team using guns and bombs.

In the exchange of fire, CDO personnel Paonam Apollo and Md Arif sustained injuries from bomb splinters, and were rushed to Bishnupur district hospital from where they were referred to Raj Medicity in Imphal.

Doctors said that they are out of danger.

On Friday, two women were injured in cross-firing between Kuki and Meitei armed groups at Terakhongshangbi in the district.

The incident has taken place under the jurisdiction of Phougakchao Ikhai Police Station of Bishnupur district.

After the killings, a mob gathered at Kwakta and wanted to "head towards Churachandpur" but was stopped by the police.

Sources said that six Kuki militants might have been killed in the gunfight with state police.

One of the dead Kuki militants is said to be a leader of a certain non-SoO Kuki militant group.

However, another source said that the militant leader was killed earlier on Friday night when a joint meeting between two different militant groups turned hostile.

Both the contested sources are yet to be verified.

On the other hand, well-armed Kuki militants launched attack on Sanasabi and Thamnapokpi villages under Yaingangpokpi police station on Saturday morning at around 11.30 am.

The Kuki militants launched the attack from two vantage points of adjacent Kuki villages including Koune.

Meetei village volunteers also retaliated but there was no report of any injury or casualty on either side.

However, some Meetei houses in Sanasabi villages were damaged in the attack.

(With inputs from PTI) .

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