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Saturday, May 18, 2024

2 Paramilitary Soldiers Killed In Insurgent Attack In Manipur

Two CRPF personnel were killed and two others were injured in a suspected insurgent attack early in the morning today in Manipur’s Bishnupur district. According to sources, a group of suspected Kuki insurgents opened gunfire from a hillside in Naranseina village towards the valley region, targeting a central security force post.

The exchange escalated when a bomb detonated within the outpost, causing severe injuries to four personnel. Despite swift medical attention, two security personnel died while two are currently undergoing treatment.

Top police sources said that the attack comes six days before the first anniversary of the start of the Manipur crisis and militants hiding in hills are likely to increase attacks in the coming days.

The two who died belonged to the Central Reserve Police Force’s (CRPF) 128 Battalion, stationed at Naranseina and were identified as CRPF sub-inspector N Sarkar and head constable Arup Saini. The injured were inspector Jadav Das and constable Aftab Das. The attackers reportedly launched their assault starting from midnight until approximately 2:15 am.

The attack took place at an Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) camp where CRPF personnel were stationed after poll duty in the state.

This camp is 2 kilometres away from the hills. About a kilometre away from the camp lies an area known as Upper Canal, where central security forces used to be posted since it was designated as a sensitive area after violence broke out in Manipur in May last year.

According to sources, insurgents in the hills used a crude artillery weapon called a “pumpi gun” to attack the camp. 

“The militants fired indiscriminately from hilltops, targetting the camp. It started around 12.30 am and continued till about 2.15 am. The militants also hurled bombs, one of which exploded in the outpost of CRPF’s 128 battalion,” a senior police officer said, as quoted by news agency PTI.

A massive combing operation is underway in the area to track down the attackers, police said. 

Heavy gunfights broke out between Meitei and Kuki-Zo armed groups in August and September 2023 in and around Naranseina. Both sides call themselves “village defence volunteers”, a definition of the belligerents in Manipur that has become the most controversial since nothing stops these “volunteers” from killing people under the insurance provided by “in self-defence”.

The valley is primarily inhabited by the Meitei community, while the hills are inhabited by the Kuki people.

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