TODAY -

Bombs, bullets batter Sugnu, locals question Inaction by CFs
Source: Chronicle News Service / WSNetwork

Kakching, February 21 2024: Sugnu villagers expressed dismay as Kuki militants resumed attacking Meetei villages on Tuesday night which continued till Wednesday morning despite the combined security forces' search operations conducted on Tuesday in Kakching district's Sugnu and Lailoiphai and Dongyang villages under Churachandpur district.

A Sugnu resident namely Aheibam Chanthoisana said that Kuki militants from Lailoiphai and Donayang have been attacking Meetei villages from February 14 morning for a week.

She recalled that during the attack many houses and properties were destroyed and two BSF personnel suffered bullet injuries while a Meetei volunteer sustained bomb splinter wounds.

Following the incident of four villagers including elderly women losing their lives in heart attack due to bring and shelling, many women and children have fled Sugnu for safer locations, she informed.

Chanthoisana questioned why the security forces did not stepped in when the Kuki militants launched the attack and raised suspicion if the security forces conducted the search operation as the number of deaths among the Kuki militants rose or the militants are running out of ammunition or to facilitate the militants rebuild their bunkers.

Informing that the Sugnu villagers are hesitant to return to their homes, she drew the state government's attention to take immediate measures.

She also condemned inaction by Bishnupur DC, SP and Kumbi MLA S Premchandra in-spite of the Kuki militants occupying Napat village under Kumbi police station.

Sungu, one of the last Meetei villages on the southern front of the valley in Kakching district, has been battered by volleys of bombs of different calibres and heavy guns from suspected Kuki-Zo militants for the last seven days, leaving a trail of destruction and casualties.

Apart from the official report of a BSF trooper injured, locals claimed that five persons, including four women, died of BP stroke.

The locals also expressed dissatisfaction over what they termed as the inaction of the central security forces to protect Sugnu.

Positioned at Lailoiphai and Dongyang villages, the militants are raining bullets and bombs on Meetei villages at Sugnu across the Manipur River leading to heavy exchange of fire between the village volunteers and the former.

Already affected by the clash that broke out in May last year, it took a heavy toll this time particularly on the elderly population at Sugnu, about 65 km away from Imphal.

Official sources said that efforts are being made by the state forces along with the central forces to deescalate violence.

In this regard, heavy deployment of BSF and state forces was made at different locations of Sugnu including the bazar area and inter village roads, they added.

Reportedly joint operation by state forces and BSF was carried on Tuesday for area domination.

However, locals maintained that in spite of the operation there were brings from suspected Kuki-Zo militants towards Sugnu side around 6 am and 8 am, then again around 10.30 and 11 am on Wednesday.

Aheibam Chanthoisana, also a rights activist, on the other hand, has questioned alleged inaction of the central forces, saying "the bring and bombardment are being carried out from a 3-km long trench located at Lailongphai and Dongyang villages.

The trench was not dug just in a day using machines but dug manually right under the nose of AR and ITBP posts".

The 37-year-old asked whether there is any hidden motive behind the inaction of the central forces.

"We are beginning to doubt the sincerity of the central government, It has been almost 9 months since the violence broke out.

Do they want both sides of the warring groups to completely wipe out each other?" she rued.

The rights activist pointed out that when violence broke out in May last in Churachandpur, Sugnu was relatively peaceful following a truce among the communities.

But on the intervening night of May 27 and 28, the truce snapped as Kuki-Zo militants rained bullets towards Sugnu, forcing hundreds of families to flee their homesteads and take shelter at safer climes.

"Normalcy seemed to have returned in August as many displaced persons returned home.

Yet again these past five days Sugnu is on the boil," she said.


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