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Militants Kill Two Policemen in Manipur’s Moreh Amid Renewed Violence

Earlier this month, the CM had said there were high chances of involvement of foreign mercenaries from Myanmar in the gun and bomb attacks. (Photo: Representative/PTI)

Earlier this month, the CM had said there were high chances of involvement of foreign mercenaries from Myanmar in the gun and bomb attacks. (Photo: Representative/PTI)

According to an official, the gunfight began after militants fired a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) at a temporary police unit near SBI Moreh

Two Manipur Police commandos were killed and two sustained bullet wounds after heavily-armed militants targeted them amid renewed violence in Moreh, a business town close to the Myanmar border, on Wednesday, officials said. The deceased have been identified as Wangkhem Somorjit (32) and Takhellambam Saileshwore from Lamshang in Imphal West district, they said.

Somorjit was hit by bullets during an ambush near Ima Kondong Lairembi Devi temple in the morning. He succumbed to injuries during treatment at Key Location Point (KLP) of Assam Rifles. Saileshwore was shot dead by militants on Wednesday evening, officials said. Constable N Bheem (35), who was hit by a bullet in his left leg, and ASI Sidharth Thokchom (35), who sustained injuries on his face and ears, were airlifted from Moreh and have been admitted to RIMS in Imphal for treatment, the official added.

According to an official, the gunfight began after militants fired a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) at a temporary police unit near SBI Moreh. This was followed by multiple attacks by militants on security forces at Ward No. 7 and Chikim village, which are located near the town’s border with Myanmar.

The militants also fired RPG shells at a temporary commando post damaging several vehicles parked in the vicinity. Meanwhile, large number of women from Malom in Imphal West district blocked the road to the airport in protest against the killing of the policemen.

Spokesperson L Premchand of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) formed in connection with the killing of Somorjit told reporters that ”the body of the deceased policeman will not be accepted by the family members till the culprits are arrested and brought to justice.” Wearing traditional mourning dress, women sat on the middle of road to prevent all forms of vehicular movement on the route. In another development, a large number of Meira Paibis from Imphal’s main market of Khwairamband Keithel took out a rally demanding reinforcement of state forces at Moreh. They marched towards the CM’s bungalow but were stopped by police.

Some Kuki groups claimed that cadres of banned United National Liberation Front (UNLF) and Arambai Tenggol people were moving alongside with Manipur state police commandoes and targeting the tribal community besides indulging in widespread arson and burning down of school and other buildings. With the situation remaining tense in the border town following multiple gun and bomb attacks on policemen by militants, an emergency meeting to discuss the law and order situation was held at the CM’s secretariat. The meeting was attended by Chief Minister N Biren Singh, his cabinet colleagues and MLAs, an official told PTI.

Moreh has been experiencing regular exchanges of fire between security forces and militants over the past few days. The latest firing incident took place just 48 hours after the arrest of two suspects involved in the killing of Moreh SDPO. Police had recently arrested Phillip Khongsai and Hemokholal Mate, the two main suspects in the killing of SDPO Ch Anand in October last year. The two had fired at the vehicles of the security personnel following which police chased and overpowered them. The two were later produced before the judicial magistrate Moreh and have been remanded to nine days police custody, police said.

Earlier this month, the CM had said there were high chances of involvement of foreign mercenaries from Myanmar in the gun and bomb attacks. Meanwhile, the Manipur government has requested the Ministry of Home Affairs for helicopters to meet emergency requirements in the wake of law and order situation in the border town of Moreh, an official said.

Commissioner Home T Ranjit Singh in a letter to Additional Secretary (Police II Division), Ministry of Home Affairs, said: ”The law and order situation in the border town of Moreh has become a matter of serious concern as there has been continuous exchange of fire.” Earlier, following inputs of ”likelihood of breach of peace, disturbance of public tranquility and grave danger to human lives and property within the revenue jurisdiction of Tengnoupal” the Manipur government had imposed a total curfew from midnight on January 16.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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