Manipur’s Sugnu battered by bombardments, casualties up, locals question Central forces’ inactionangpok Floating Village and Loktak Lake


Source: Waari Singbul Network

2/22/20243 min read

Imphal: Sungu, one of the last Meetie villages on the southern front of the valley Kaching district, has once again 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.

Kuki-Zo militants

Apart from the official report of a BSF jawan being injured in the constant onslaughts, 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 from neighbouring Churachandpur district, the militants rained bullets and bombs on Meetei villages at Sugnu across the Manipur river which resulted in heavy exchange of fire between the village volunteers and the former.

Owing to the impact of the heavy attacks and the fearful situation triggered at Sugnu, the five elderly Sugnu villagers died on different dates beginning February 14, locals said, adding that they could not timely submit the casualty report to the authorities.

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.

The deceased five apparently died of BP stroke, claimed the deceased families and locals. They have been identified as Moirangthem Tombi (103), Khaidem Achoubi (74), Thongam Chaoba (80), Laishram Dasumati (60) and Moirangthem Nandakumar (62), who all hailed from Sugnu.

Alongside there has been extensive damage of houses which are located near the Manipur river bank due to bombardments and gunshots from the militants, wearing the area, a war devastated zone.

Official sources said that efforts are being made by the state forces along with the Central forces to deescalate the violence. In this regard, heavy deployment of BSF and state forces were 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 firings from suspected Kuki-Zo militants towards Sugnu side at around 6 am and 8 am, then again at around 10.30 and 11 am.

Rights activist Aheibam Chanthoisana, who hails from Sugnu, on the other hand, has questioned the alleged inaction of the Central forces, saying “the firing and bombardment are being carried out from a 3-km long trench located at Lailongphai and Dongyang villages in Churachandpur. The trench was dug not just in a day by using machines. It was dug manually right under the nose of AR and ITBP posts.”

The 37-year-old activist 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.

Chanthoisana went on to claim that since February 14, around 500 bombs and endless number of bullets have been fired by the suspected Kuki-Zo militants towards the Sugnu areas so far.

She said this war-like arms and ammunitions cannot be acquired overnight and it would be a flimsy claim on the part of the central security forces of not having any knowledge of the miscreant’s heavy deployments during all these days.

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

But on the intervening night of May 27 and 28, the truce broke 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 come back 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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