Fresh violence in Manipur kills two police commandos
Imphal: In fresh coordinated onslaughts on state security apparatus launched by well-equipped militants at the violence-torn Moreh town bordering Myanmar since Wednesday morning at least two police commandos were shot dead with sniper rifles and six injured.
Takhellambam Saileshwor of Lamsang area in Imphal West district, one of the slain cops was a prominent football goalkeeper of Manipur Police Sports Club ( MPSC), police said, adding that he succumbed to his injuries at RIMS hospital in Imphal. He belonged to 1st India Reserve Battalion (IRB).
In the synchronized attacks employing rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and reportedly using explosives packed bombs, many houses went up in flames at the border town. A Kuki woman agitator was also injured when she jumped on to a moving security cipher used by Assam Rifles (AR) in a bid to prevent it from proceeding as reinforcement at the site of the attack on to the state security forces.
Notably, fire tender vehicles from neighboring Myanmar dowsed the fire at Moreh Ward No 3, Cannan Veng, and some houses near Moreh hospital.
The other deceased - Wangkhem Sormorjit Meetei (32) of Malom Tulihal Mayai Leikai – was a rifleman 6 BN Manipur Rifles.
Amongst the injured cops - Ngashekpam Bhim (35) of Pangei area and assistant sub inspector (ASI) Shiddarth Thokcom of Thangmeiband Lourung Purel here– are currently undergoing treatment at RIMS hospital.
Bodies of Somorjit and Saileshwor have been kept at the mortuary of RIMS for autopsy.
Somorjit’s mortal remains and three cops who were injured were airlifted from Moreh to Imphal by a chopper.
“Around 9am today, our Kaka (uncle) Salaeshwor, during a group video call among our family members, said his group came under heavy attack by Kuki militants with bombs and snipers from different sides at Moreh and one of his colleagues received injuries,” said Prashanta Takhellambam, nephew of the deceased cop.
“Our kaka was a renowned football goalkeeper in Manipur police and he was recently promoted to Havildar . He left for Moreh on January 5,” Prashanta added.
In Imphal, legions of womenfolk came out in the streets and protested against what they termed as the state government’s failure to send reinforcements and reign in Kuki militants at the border town.
To express their voices some of them abortively attempted to storm the bungalows of chief minister N Biren Singh and Governor Anusuiya Uikey as they were stopped by the police.
A Joint Action Committee (JAC) constituted by the Malom people in protest against Somorjit’s killing resolved not to claim his body for performing the last rites unless the government arrests the culprits involved in killing him.
Wednesday’s corresponding attacks came a day after two Moreh residents, Philip Khongsai and Hemkholal Mate, who were arrested in connection with the gunning down of SDPO Chingtham Anand there on October 31, last year, were remanded in police by a local court for 9 days.
Later in the wee-wee hours of Wednesday, another round of attacks were launched where three other cops sustained injured. All the three were given treatment at the Assam Rifles dispensary at Key Location Point at Moreh. Out of three, one was airlifted to imphal and taken to the Raj Medicity for further treatment of his sniper wounds.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh who visited the injured personnel at Raj Medicity took to social media to update on the security situation in the international border town.
“Our security forces are giving a befitting reply to the sustained attacks at Moreh. One of our personnel who sustained injury at Moreh was brought to Imphal at 2:30am and treatment on him has started.”