Imphal: The proscribed outfit Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), while claiming responsibility, stated that the incident occurred after its cadres attempted to apprehend one drug snuggler Md. Hassan son of (Late) Md. Habbibur of Lilong Chingjao under Lilong Police Station, Thoubal District.
In a press release signed by the outfit, Assistant Secretary Publicity Bangkim said members of STAFORCE (Special Task Force) of the outfit formed on July 7, 1998, went to pick up Md. Hassan, who had been warned multiple times to stop drug smuggling.
However, a large crowd in the area gathered and attacked the members of the STAFORCE while they were taking Md. Hassan, the release said.
The release continued that members of the STAFORCE fired several shots in the air as a warning when the large crowd tried to snatch their weapons, but the crowd did not retreat. In self-defense, the cadres had no choice but to retaliate by letting off Md. Hassan, whom they had picked up, for their safety.
The mob subsequently set fire to the three vehicles they had traveled. Unfortunately, setting the vehicles on fire caused ammunition, 40 mm grenades, and 60 mm Mortar Shells to explode, the release said.
The Outfit in the press release also expressed condolences for the deaths of the four individuals and shared the pain of those injured during the incident of picking up Md. Hassan.
The outfit further promised to conduct an inquiry to find out how the very Lilong incident occurred.