Manipur CM’s advance security convoy attacked by suspected militants

The attack, which took place around 10:30 AM on Monday, left one security personnel injured. The injured officer, identified as Moirangthem Ajesh (32) from Bishnupur district, sustained a bullet wound to his right shoulder and has been transported to a hospital in Imphal for treatment.

| Updated: 10 June, 2024 4:17 pm IST

NEW DELHI: An advance security convoy of Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh was ambushed by suspected militants near Kotlen village along National Highway 37, the key route connecting Imphal to Jiribam.

The attack, which took place around 10:30 AM on Monday, left one security personnel injured. The injured officer, identified as Moirangthem Ajesh (32) from Bishnupur district, sustained a bullet wound to his right shoulder and has been transported to a hospital in Imphal for treatment.

Reacting to the incident, CM Singh said, “It is very unfortunate and highly condemnable. It is an attack directly on the Chief Minister, and means directly on the people of the state. So, the State Government has to do something. So, I will take a call from all of my colleagues and we will make a decision.”

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The convoy was on its way to Jiribam to prepare for the Chief Minister’s visit, scheduled for Tuesday. The ambush occurred at T. Laijang village, approximately 26 kilometers from Imphal, in the Kuki-Zomi dominated Kangpokpi district. The assailants fired multiple gunshots at the vehicles, leading to a shootout that continued into the morning.

The region has experienced escalating tensions since June 6, following the discovery of the body of Soibam Saratkumar Singh, a Meitei man, which bore injury marks. This incident triggered arson attacks, resulting in the burning of houses belonging to both Hmar-Mizos (a tribe under the Zo umbrella) and Meiteis. Two police outposts and a forest beat office were also set on fire.

A combined team of state forces and Assam Rifles has initiated a search operation in and around the ambush site. The local authorities have deployed additional police and central security forces to maintain order in Jiribam, which had remained relatively peaceful amid the ethnic conflict raging in other parts of Manipur since May 3 of the previous year.

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The ongoing ethnic conflict in Manipur, primarily between the Imphal valley-based Meiteis and the hills-based Kukis, has resulted in over 200 deaths and thousands of people being displaced. The recent unrest in Jiribam, a district with a diverse population including Meiteis, Kuki-Zos, Bengalis, Muslims, and Nagas, has added to the complexities of the situation.

Following the latest violence, prohibitory orders have been enforced in Jiribam. Hundreds of people, including Meiteis, were evacuated to temporary relief camps, with significant security measures in place to prevent further escalation.

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