IMPHAL: Sporadic gun battles have rocked the border regions of Imphal East and Kangpokpi in strife-torn Manipur since the evening of February 11, escalating tensions and endangering civilian lives.
Monday evening witnessed a brazen attack on Phukhao Santipur, a Meitei village in Imphal East, leaving two village volunteers, Paikhomba and Ibomacha of Uyumpok village, injured.
Fortunately, both victims were swiftly admitted to Imphal hospitals for treatment and are reported to be out of danger.
In parallel incidents, armed groups unleashed assaults in the Satang area under Saikul sub-division in Kangpokpi district.
Despite the prolonged skirmishes from the wee hours till Tuesday morning, no casualties or injuries were reported at the time of this report’s filing.
Kaiminlen Sitlou, spokesperson of the Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU), while speaking to the local press, pointed accusatory fingers at cadres of banned outfits UNLF and Arambai Tenggol, alleging their incursion into the buffer zone and subsequent attacks on Satang.
CoTU further denounced the assailants for sabotaging power lines, plunging Saikul sub-division into darkness, branding such acts as “senseless” and “war crimes.”
In response to the blackout crisis, the Kuki Committee in Kangpokpi issued a stern warning, demanding the restoration of electricity within 24 hours.
Failure to comply, they asserted, would result in severe consequences, absolving themselves of responsibility post-deadline.
Amidst the turmoil, recent days have seen tragic losses.
On February 11, the police recovered the bullet-riddled body of Ningthoujam Manisana (35) from the hill range in Imphal East on Sunday, while another volunteer, N Oken (26), was found dead in a utility vehicle at JNIMS hospital compound.
These individuals went missing during previous armed clashes at Itham Moirangpurel in Imphal East.
Meanwhile, Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh, in a recent statement, has declared that individuals entering Manipur after 1961, the base year for the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system, would be identified and deported.