Nine including cops injured as gunfights rage
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, November 07 2023: At least nine people including two Manipur police personnel were left wounded after suspected Kuki militants launched an attack from the Kangchup hills under Imphal West district on Tuesday morning.

After a lull in the violence for many days in both the hills and the valley, Kuki militants fired several rounds towards Kangchup foothills from atop Kangchup hill around 11am Tuesday.

The attack left many injured including two Manipur Police personnel and villagers residing at Kangchup foothills.

The two injured personnel have been identified as VDF member Mutum Basanta (35) posted at Lamsang PS and DIG Range I escort Naorem Kishan (30) .

Both of them were immediately taken to RIMS hospital, while the other injured were rushed to RIMS and Raj Medicity.

As the Kuki militants launched the attack, the state forces deployed in the area responded with retaliatory fire.

While a Gypsy of Imphal West district police commando OC in-charge and another Gypsy (No 6) of the district police commandos suffered damages during the attack, no injuries were reported.

On hearing news of the attack, additional personnel of CRPF and state forces rushed to the location and took the situation under control.

Meanwhile, the Meira Paibis of the area blocked vehicular movement leading to the spot of the attack to prevent any innocent from getting hurt, while also directing the traffic to give way to ambulances carrying the wounded.

The Kuki militants ceased the attack after arrival of additional state and central security forces to the area.

However, another attack was launched by Kuki militants from atop Koutruk hill a little after noon.

The IRB and the state forces deployed in the area retaliated with fire of their own, with supporting fire from the state forces deployed at Senjam Chirang.

The gunfight lasted for around an hour before it came to end.

Due to the attack, many Meetei people residing in Koutruk fled the area and sought refuge at safer locations nearby.

Later, at about 3pm, the Kuki militants launched another round of attack including shelling the Meetei village in Kangchup area.

The state forces and village volunteers deployed in the area also retaliated with rounds of their own and the gunfight continued into the night.

However, there were no reports of injuries till the time of filing this report.

On the other hand, Kuki militants fired several rounds at a Meetei village located nearby Maphou Kuki village in Imphal East district at around 8am Tuesday, but were met with retaliatory fire from the village volunteers.

The gunfight continued till 9.50 am.

On receiving news of the incident, additional forces inducing 1/ Gorkha Rifles deployed in the area arrived at the location, putting the gunfight to a stop.

It is speculated that some of the Kuki militants might have been wounded or killed.

Meanwhile, farmers, who were busy working at Irengbam Maning Kila Loukol under Nambol PS, were attacked by Kuki militants from Tingkai Khunou, Kangpokpi district at around 12.30 pm Tuesday.

Upon being informed of the attack, teams of Bishnupur Police, army, CRPF and IRB rushed to the location and retaliated against the militants.

There were no reports of any injury.

In this regard, one of the farmers conveyed that it is unfortunate to have the Kuki militants attack the simple-minded farmers, who have never shown any hostility to the Kuki community.

The farmers only want to co-exist peacefully just like before, the farmer said and urged for putting an end to the conflict at the earliest.

The district police also used a bullet proof vehicle to rescue around 40 workers from the nearby Imoinu Brick Field.

One of the workers said that the attack has left everybody fearful of going to work and appealed to the government to provide adequate security to the farmers and workers.

It may be mentioned here that after sporadic incidents of violence since the May 3 conflict began, some semblance of peace had set in the state for many days.

However, the lull was broken with the attacks by Kuki militants on Tuesday morning.

On October 30, Kuki militants had gunned down Moreh SDPO Ch Anand, prompting the deployment of additional state forces in Moreh and continuous search operations in the border town, leading to detention of many Myanmarese nationals and Kula militants as well as recovery of weapons and bomb making materials.

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