One Manipur Police commando was killed and three others injured when suspected armed militants attacked them in Manipur’s Moreh, along the Myanmar border, on Wednesday, January 17, police said. When the security personnel tried to shift the three injured persons to the hospital , some tribals including women, allegedly obstructed and clashed with the forces. A tribal woman was killed and few others injured in the alleged clashes in bordering Moreh, 110 km from the state capital Imphal.
Police officials in Imphal said that police commando Wangkhem Somorjit was killed and three others injured when suspected militants attacked the security forces, who were on a search operation in different vehicles in Moreh under Tengnoupal district to nab the militants.
Somorjit hails from Malom area in Imphal West district.
Heavy exchange of fire between the security forces and the suspected militants were reported in three different locations in Moreh area since Wednesday morning, a police official said. The militants had also allegedly fired Rocket-Propelled Grenade shells on the security forces.
Tension runs high in the border areas and additional security forces including Assam Rifles have rushed to the areas to quell the situation. Apprehending fresh violence, the district administration imposed a total curfew in Tengnoupal district from Tuesday afternoon. “Following inputs of likelihood of breach of peace, disturbance of public tranquillity and grave danger to human lives and property within the revenue jurisdiction of Tengnoupal district, total curfew was imposed in the district,” a notification said.
Moreh is an old and major trading town on the India-Myanmar border. It is just four km to the west of Myanmar’s largest border town Tamu and 110 km south of Imphal. People from the Kuki, Meitei, Naga, Tamil, Pangal (Muslim), Gorkha, Sikh, and other communities have been residing for decades in peace and harmony in Moreh.
Meanwhile, a leader of the ruling BJP Hemkholal Mate (36) and a former soldier of the Army Philip Khaikholal Khongsai (49) were arrested on Monday night from Moreh in connection with the killing of a sub-divisional police officer Chingtham Anand Kumar in October last year. Upon the arrest of the duo, tribals at the border town on Tuesday demanded their release, while Imphal valley witnessed widespread protests demanding handing over the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and giving exemplary punishment of the detainees.
Since December 30, at least 10 Manipur Police commandos and a Border Security Force (BSF) trooper have been injured in different incidents of attacks by suspected Kuki militants at Moreh.