Assam Rifles soldier opens fire on 6 colleagues, takes own life

| Updated: 24 January, 2024 8:24 pm IST

GUWAHATI: In a shocking incident on Tuesday night, a member of the Assam Rifles (AR) opened fire on six of his colleagues before turning the weapon on himself inside their barrack in the Sajik Tampak area of Chandel district, bordering Myanmar.

The victims, all non-Manipuris hailing from various parts of the country, are reported to be in stable condition. The deceased soldier has been identified as Rifleman Baite of 15 AR from Churachandpur district’s Kanan Veng. According to official sources, he had reported back to his camp on Saturday after a leave.

Late on Tuesday night, the soldier reportedly woke up in distress, expressing fears that someone would harm him based on a dream. Although he was comforted, he later woke up again and proceeded to open fire on six colleagues within the barrack before turning the firearm on himself.

Following the incident, the injured personnel were swiftly airlifted to the military hospital at Leimakhong in Kanpokpi district near Imphal.

A police report quoting AR officials emphasised the importance of transparently sharing incident details to dispel potential rumours and prevent speculation, particularly in the context of ongoing ethnic tensions in Manipur. The report urged that the unfortunate incident should not be linked to the ongoing conflict, emphasising that none of the injured people were from Manipur. An investigation has been initiated to establish the facts surrounding the incident.

The report highlighted that Assam Rifles battalions maintain a mixed class composition, including individuals from various communities in Manipur. Despite societal polarisation, personnel cohabit and operate together to uphold peace and stability in the region.

Sajik Tampak, once occupied by different rebel groups, witnessed a significant military operation about two decades ago that drove them out and established military control over the area.

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