Imphal: As many as 33 Kuki militants were killed by security forces during the ongoing violence in Manipur. Chief Minister N Biren Sing informed the media after meeting the army chief General Manoj Pande and the chief of the Eastern Command, Lt. General Rana Pratap Kalita, in Imphal.
Talking to the media, CM Biren Singh said on May 28 that at least 33 terrorists had been killed in different areas by the security forces. Terming the Kuki militants as “terrorists”, the Chief Minister said, “We have launched operations against the terrorists who have been attacking civilians using sophisticated weapons like M16, AK 47 and snipers. Helicopter surveillance in the hill and border areas is going on, and State and central forces are launching massive operations to eliminate those terrorists who are still present in the State and trying to create unrest. Apart from those killed, several others have been arrested, CM Biren Singh added.
As fresh arson and firing incidents began in the early hours of May 28, a civilian was killed by militants in a village in Imphal West district and a police personnel was also killed and another injured at Sugnu in Kakching district in an exchange of fire with the insurgents. CM Biren Singh said that security forces launched massive operations across the State from May 28 morning, and several gunfights between the suspected Kuki terrorists and security forces have been reported.
Officials said more than a dozen people were injured in separate instances of firing on civilians and clashes between militants and security forces throughout the day.
CM Biren Singh also said that it is not a fight between communities. The fight is between the State and central forces against the terrorists who are trying to break Manipur. It should be mentioned that Union Home Minister Amit Shah will reach Imphal on May 29 in a three-day visit to the violence-torn State. He will hold discussions with the State Government, security forces and as well as the leaders of the civil society. Ahead of the visit of the home minister, central security forces, including the army, have stepped up its operation against the militants who are creating unrest in the State. Meanwhile, the Manipur Government further extended the ban on internet services in the State till May 31.
It should be mentioned that the violence started in Manipur on May 3 during the solidarity march by the All Manipur Tribal Students Union against the Manipur High Court order to consider the listing of the Meiti community in the ST list. A tribal student union backed by the church’s community organised a solidarity march in Bishnupur district which turned violent as militants armed with sophisticated weapons like AK 47 attacked the Hindu Meitei community in Bishnupur district.
Later the violence spread to several other districts, including the capital city Imphal. The Government said that at least 75 civilians were killed and more than 200 were injured in the series of violence continuing for over three weeks. Miscreants torched down 1800 houses, mostly belonging to the Meitei community.
An angry mob storms into the house of Union Minister Rajkumar Ranjan Singh in Imphal. On May 26, a group of people tried to vandalise the residence of Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Education, Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, in Imphal, alleging the failure of the Government to control the attacks of armed Kuki militants on the Meitei community. On May 24, after the fresh attack by the suspected Kuki militants, an angry mob stormed the residence of State Minister Govindas Konthoujam in Ningthoukhong town in Bishnupur district and allegedly vandalised the property. The mob alleged that not enough action had been taken to control the attacks of Kuki militants in the hill districts.
Earlier on May 21, CM N Biren Singh admitted that it was the failure of the Government to predict and contain the violence in the State.
Talking to the media, CM Biren Singh said, “It was a very unfortunate and sad incident. We take responsibility. It was our failure, our lapses in security and intelligence,”