Peace Call by Manipur Chief Minister Amidst Fresh Violence; Village Guard Killed, Cop Injured
Imphal: In yet another unfortunate turn of events in Manipur, fresh outbreaks of violence marred the state as a Village Defence Volunteer (VDF) lost his life in Imphal West district’s Kadangband Part II area, while a special police commando sustained injuries at Moreh town bordering Myanmar.
The deceased, identified as Ningombam Jamesbond (31) from Mayanglangjing near Kadangband, was on duty guarding the village alongside fellow VDVs when suspected Kuki militants launched a sudden attack from a nearby hill at approximately 3:30 am, according to local sources.
Jamesbond, once a sports journalist associated with a local vernacular daily, received an outpouring of condolences from friends and well-wishers, primarily from the media community, on various social media platforms.
His body has been transferred to the mortuary of the state-operated Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) in Imphal East for further examination through autopsy procedures.
Local residents of Kadangband expressed their dismay, blaming both Central and state security forces for their perceived failure to act against the assailants targeting the Meitei village.
Simultaneously, suspected Kuki militants launched an ambush on two teams of special commandos from the Manipur police in the Moreh area of Tengnoupal district, resulting in the injury of one commando.
An officer from the commando unit revealed that the militants unleashed a hail of bullets and mortars from various directions around 3 pm, instigating a gun battle.
Swift reinforcement teams arrived at the scene, and amidst the encounter, a mortar splinter struck the right foot of a Zeliangrong Naga community member of the commando unit. Fortunately, the injured commando is reported to be out of danger.
Ironically juxtaposed against these tragic incidents, Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh urged for peace and dialogue in light of the upcoming New Year.
Speaking at a media conference in his office complex, he called upon all parties to renounce violence and initiate discussions to foster peace.
Condemning the Kadangband attack, the CM assured reporters of ongoing investigations and combing operations to apprehend the perpetrators.
These incidents follow a 26-day interval since the tragic loss of 13 individuals from the Meitei community due to a gun attack in Tengnoupal district. However incidents of unprovoked firing from hills control at different places targeting villages in the valley, particularly on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The situation remains tense as authorities work to ensure safety and investigate the recent acts of violence, casting a somber shadow over the hopes for peace in Manipur as the dawn of a new year approaches.