Gunfight in Pallel; 2 dead, 100 hurt in AR crackdown
Source: Chronicle News Service

Thoubal, September 08 2023: In a fresh flare up of violence, Kuki militants launched a heavy attack at a Meetei village from two-different directions from Molnoi area of Pallel early Friday morning.

Following the attack, state forces also retaliated against the attack by Kuki militants.

Meanwhile, two people were killed and over 100 injured in scuffle with Assam Rifles personnel in the area.

The two deceased along with 14 others including three personnel of Kakching District Police Commando were struck by stray bullets fired by AR, Of the two deceased, one has been identified as Yengkhom Jiten (43) of Kakching Chumnang Leikai.

He was a daily wager.

He was struck by a bullet on his back and succumbed to his injuries.

The other deceased has been identified as Soibam Nanao (32) of Salungpham.

He also sustained a gun shot wound on his back and was taken to RIMS where he succumbed to his injuries.

Both their dead bodies are being kept at JNIMS morgue.

Meanwhile, three other people with bullet injuries have been admit ed to JNIMS and Raj Medicity.

Hidam Inaotombi (42) of Samurou Makha Leikai sustained gunshot wound on her leg and is undergoing treatment at JNIMS.

Thongam Angoucha (43) s/o Thambou of Thoubal Wangmataba Mathak Leikai (gunshot wound on lower abdomen) and Samurailatpam Satyam Sharma (38) of Keirak Mamang Leikai (gunshot wound on waist) have been admitted to Raj Medicity.

Longjam Sumati (55), Longjam Thamila (43) and Longjam Yumshang (47) of Wangoi Thounaojam Leikai were struck by bomb splinters and have been admitted to JNIMS.

Ninthoujam Premkumar (28) s/o Kritie of Heirok Part-II sustained at bullet injury on his right leg and has been admitted to RIMS.

On receiving news of the attack, Manipur Police DIG Range-2 Jogeshchandra Haobijam, Kakching SP Bikramjit, and Thoubal SP Sachidananda Soibam arrived at the location and took stock of the situation.

However, by 9 am, the gunfight took a whole a new turn after the Kuki militants started hurling bombs.

A village volunteer was injured and taken to Thoubal District hospital for emergency treatment, before being referred to Shija Hospital.

As news of the gunfight started to spread, hundreds of people came towards Pallel but were intercepted by Assam Rifles personnel, stationed at a bunker built near Bijoypur and Laimanai Chingjil of the National Highway, along the way to Pallel.

The personnel did not even allow ambulances to go through but later, allowed the ambulances to pass as more and more people thronged the area.

The AR personnel further blocked the journalists covering the scuffle between the forces and told them to retreat from the area.

Shortly after, the AR personnel started brutally thrashing the people and fired several rounds of tear gas shells and rubber bullets, injuring many people in the process.

At around 10 am, the large crowd broke through the bunker of AR in Bijoypur area and continued to move forward.

As the crowd reached the Forest Office in Pallel area, the AR personnel, onboard 4-5 Casspir vehicles, started firing indiscriminately to disperse the crowd.

14 people were struck by bullets, of which two succumbed to their injuries.

Of the 14 injured, three were personnel of Kakching District Police Commando, while another person, said to be a citizen journalist operating on a social media platform, was left severely injured after getting hit by one of the bullets.

The scuffle with AR continued till 4pm.The injured persons were taken to Jivan Hospital in Kakching Lamkhai, while the more seriously injured were referred to RIMS and JNIMS.

Meanwhile, a report conveyed that the Kuki militants suffered at least four casualties and an AR helicopter was flown to the location at around 11.30 am Friday.

It is believed that the chopper was used to transport the injured.

On the other hand, Wangoi MLA Kh Loken and former MLA O Lukhoi visited six of the injured people from Samurou and Wangoi AC who are being hospitalised at JNIMS, Porompat.

The two extended financial assistance to the injured and assured of providing further support, wherever needed.

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