Moreh tense as 11 killed in series of violent incidents
Source: The Sangai Express

Moreh/Imphal, June 09: In a series of tragic and violent incidents that shook Moreh today from morning till evening, unidentified gunmen killed 11 persons while another is in a critical condition after being shot.

Following the charged atmosphere at the border town following the series of killings, the district administration has clamped curfew at Moreh.

According to an official source, four persons were shot dead at two different places today at about 9.45 am.

Among the four victims, one was shot dead at Moreh Ward number 7 Turel Wangma while the other three were shot dead at Moreh Ward number 5. Three of them were found killed blind folded and with their hands tied.

Assam Rifles personnel and IRB men who were on patrol party at that time, chased the gunmen and opened fire as well.

The gunmen however managed to escape into the thick jungles nearby.

The four bodies were picked up by Moreh police and taken to the police station.

No sooner were the bodies deposited at the police then a large number of Kuki women converged at the PS to take a look at the bodies at about 11 am.

With the large number of women converging at the police station and with tension running high, trouble started brewing and to control the situation police resorted to firing tear gas shells.

The cops also opened blank fire.

Even as the police were trying to disperse the women folk, the residence of the vice president of Meitei Council Moreh and vice president of the Imphal-Moreh Jeep and Tata Sumo Taxi Service Association, L Tomba was set on fire by a mob at about 11.30 am.

The house is located at Moreh Ward number 4, near Prem Nagar Morning bazar.

Gunfire were also heard during the arson.

Even as the fire raged, the local residents fled into neighbouring Myanmar to take refuge.

Even as the fire raged and people fled to neighbouring Myanmar, news of another body lying at the bridge constructed over the Minal river along the Indo-Myanmar border, did the round.

The body was soon picked up by the police and at about 12 pm, came the news that six persons lying near the water tank at Moreh Ward number 1. The police however could not immediately proceed to the place where the bodies were lying as rival militants were reported to have taken up strategic positions along the way.

Another body was also found near the Sunrise Cricket Ground at Moreh Ward number 4. Following the series of violence, the ADC of Moreh clamped curfew at about 12.15 pm.

All the bodies have been retrieved by the police late in the evening and they are expected to be brought either at Lilong PHC or RIMS morgue for post mortem.

The identities of some of the victims have been identified.

Of the five persons who were killed first in the morning, three have been identified.

They are Doumang Haokip (30) of Moreh Chawangphai, Tongkhullen Sitlou of Moreh Ward number 7, Canaan Veng and Pastor Henjam Lungdim of Moreh Moljol.

Of the six persons who were picked up from the border bridge, it is believed that some could be Tomba, Nilmani, Bungcha, Bungo and Pikpa, all from Khurai area, said sources.

Sources said that six labourers were engaged in the construction of an auditorium near the area where the six persons were found shot.

It is still not clear whether the one person who is still struggling for life was among the six shot on the bridge or another person.

Earlier in the day, as news of the killing of the four persons spread, shops started downing shutters at the border town.

To take a first hand account of the situation, DGP Y Joykumar the incident additional force led by DGP Y Joykumar has rushed to Moreh and the security personnel have been deployed at different points to keep vigil.

A police commando team of 12 led by DSP Mubi is among the police team to rush to Moreh.

The 12 member team consists of six teams from Imphal West and three each from Imphal East and Thoubal.

Top level security officers have held a meeting to draw up plans to neutralise any further escalation of violence.

The other police officers who attended the meeting besides the DGP are IGP (LO-I) Dinokumar, DIG Range-I M Karnajit, Chandel SP Bimolchandra and the CO of 24 Assam Rifles.

Meanwhile IPSA has expressed strong concern over the outbreak of violence at Moreh.

The Assn in a statement today said that such outbreak of violence leads to nothing except losses for the common people.

The Moreh-Imphal Jeep and Tata Sumo Taxi Service Assn has also expressed its disappointment over the torching of the house of its vice president.