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4 people, including father and son, killed in Manipur; widespread protests in Imphal

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Imphal, Jan 18:  At least four people, including a man and his son, were killed in separate incidents in Manipur during the past 24 hours, police said on Thursday.

According to police, Oinam Bamoljao, 61, and his son Oinam Manitomba, 35, were killed by suspected militants in Bishnupur district on Thursday.

Village volunteer Thiyam Somen, 54, was also gunned down by armed cadres of the rival community in the same district on Thursday.

Police said that another village volunteer Takhellambam Manoranjan, 26, was killed and another volunteer, Mangshatabam Wanglen sustained bullet wounds in a gunfight between two warring communities at Kangchup in Imphal West district bordering Kangpokpi district on Wednesday night.

The fresh incidents of violence took place after unidentified armed assailants fired at security forces in Manipur’s Thoubal district late on Wednesday night, leading to three BSF personnel sustaining bullet injuries.

According to police officials, “some armed cadres of unidentified groups” attempted to attack the Thoubal district police headquarters late on Wednesday night and fired on the security personnel, who repulsed the attack.

The armed cadres had mingled among an irate crowd that had gathered at the headquarters.

Of the three BSF personnel, two were Assistant Sub-Inspectors Sobram Singh and Ramji and the third one was identified as Constable Gourav Kumar. They were shifted to a private hospital in Imphal.

A police official said that the mob targeted the 3rd Manipur Armed Battalion headquarters at Khangabok in Thoubal District.

“Security forces repelled them using the minimum necessary force. Further, the mob attempted to breach Thoubal police headquarters, prompting the security forces to use force. Armed miscreants from among the mob fired with live rounds. As a result, three personnel from BSF sustained bullet injuries,” a police statement said.

The mob demanded the government to send state police reinforcements at Moreh to counter militants’ continual attacks on state security forces there.

As a result of the incident, a total curfew was imposed in Thoubal district and security has been further tightened in the entire district.

On Wednesday, two Manipur Police commandos were killed and two sustained bullet wounds as heavily-armed militants attacked them in Moreh in Tengnoupal district.

When the security personnel tried to shift the injured security personnel to the hospital for medical treatment, some tribals, including women, tried to stop them. They clashed with the forces and several tribal people were injured in the fight.

A major border trade centre, Moreh is just 4 km to the west of Myanmar’s largest border town Tamu and 110 km south of state capital Imphal.

In protests against the incidents of violence during the past 24 hours in different districts of Manipur, various organisations including Meira Paibis (women vigilantes) organised massive protests in the state capital Imphal.

The security forces fired tear gas shells to disperse crowds gathered in different parts of the city. Some women sustained injuries in the clashes with the security forces.

The protestors demanded that the Centre hand over the charge of Unified Command Chairman to Chief Minister N. Biren Singh.

In view of the incidents of violence, since Wednesday, tension runs high in Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal, Bishnupur, Kangpokpi, and Tengnoupal districts. Additional security forces were deployed in all the trouble-torn districts.

Officials said that responding to the Manipur government’s requests, the Centre has provided another helicopter to carry forces in case of necessity.

IANS

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