IMPHAL: A gunbattle between two groups claimed one life and injured 50 in Pallel, Tengnoupal district on Friday. After the firing began in the village at 6am, a 48-year-old man sustained bullet injuries and was taken to Kakching Jeevan Hospital where he was declared brought dead. The officials have informed that the firing has temporarily stopped but the situation is still tense in the area.
Meanwhile, the Manipur Police, in a clarification posted on a popular micro-blogging website, claimed the gunbattle to be fought between the security forces and armed miscreants. Earlier, it was reported to be fought between Kuki militants and Meitei village volunteers.
“There are posts on social media regarding exchange of fire between Kuki militants and Meitei village volunteers, which is not correct. It is clarified that the incident was related to firing between security forces and armed miscreants at Pallel,” the post read.
Earlier in the day, as the news of firing broke, a large number of people from parts of Thoubal and Kakching districts rushed to Pallel but were stopped by Assam Rifles personnel leading to a tense face-off.
To bring the situation under control, the paramilitary personnel resorted to tear gas shelling. Among the injured, there were about 45 women but the number is expected to go up. Officials added that an Assam Rifles jawan too have sustained injuries. A contingent of Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel heading to Pallel as a backup from Imphal too was reportedly blocked by the locals at Thoubal.
This comes two days after thousands of protesters gathered at Phougakchao Ikhai in Bishnupur district on Wednesday and tried to break through army barricades in an attempt to reach their deserted houses in Torbung. A day before the protest, full curfew had been clamped in all the five valley districts of Manipur as a preventive measure.