In a disturbing turn of events, the border town of Moreh in Manipur has become a hotspot for violence as the People’s Defence Force (PDF), a Myanmar-based insurgency group, and Kuki militant groups have launched coordinated attacks on Indian security forces. According to intelligence reports received by Manipur police, these groups planned a series of assaults on January 17, targeting security forces in Moreh.
Confirming the intelligence, Security Adviser Kuldeep Singh revealed in a media briefing in Imphal on January 18 that PDF insurgents and Kuki militants executed their plan, attacking Manipur commando force and paramilitary forces in three locations in Moreh. The result was tragic, with one commando and one IRB jawan losing their lives and four security personnel sustaining injuries.
As tensions escalate, Kuki militants are not sparing innocent civilians either. On January 18, four farmers from the Meitei community were brutally killed by Kuki militants at Ningthoukhong Kha Khunou Maning Leikai, Bishnupur District, Manipur. The victims were identified as Oinam Bamonjao (60), his son Oinam Manitomba (37), Thiyam Somen (52), and Ningthoujam Nabadeeep (37).
The situation took a violent turn on January 17 when an angry mob targeted the 3rd Indian Reserve Battalion (3IRB) in Khangabok, Thoubal District. Security forces responded with the minimum necessary force, and when the mob attempted to breach Thoubal Police Headquarters, legal force was employed. Unfortunately, armed miscreants within the mob fired live rounds, resulting in injuries to three BSF personnel.
In response to the escalating chaos, Security Adviser Kuldeep Singh assured the public that additional forces were being dispatched to Moreh.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had already provided a helicopter, which has been deployed in Moreh. Two columns of the Indian Army and two companies of the BSF have been additionally deployed in the town. A joint command centre involving Manipur police, Army, Assam Rifle, and paramilitary forces has been established in Moreh. Joint operations have commenced in vulnerable areas, with a focus on pushing the insurgents back.
Kuldeep Singh added, “An IGP is supervising the command centre and supervising the operation. The location of commandos was such that they were targeted from higher areas now it decided to position them in areas from where they can tackle the attack.”
He further said, “Operation is underway to domination of the hills. A photograph has surfaced where it is seen a fire tender has arrived from the other side of the border, an inquiry is ordered to ascertain as to how this has happened.”
Amidst the turmoil, the Meetei Council and Moreh issued a joint press release strongly condemning the recent attacks by Kuki militants in the border town. The statement expressed deep concern over the violence inflicted on security forces and vehemently denounced any involvement of the People’s Defence Force from Myanmar in targeting Indian security forces. The council emphasised the urgent need to restore peace in Manipur and urged authorities to swiftly take action against those responsible for the attacks.
As Manipur grapples with the escalating violence, the deployment of additional forces and the establishment of a joint command centre signify a concerted effort to restore order and safeguard the region’s security.