IMPHAL: At least three personnel of Assam Rifles were killed while five others sustained critical injury after suspected armed rebel outfits ambushed a convoy of the 4th Assam Rifle near Indo-Myanmar border in Chandel district, Manipur on Wednesday.
According to sources, a group of heavily armed rebel outfits ambushed the convoy of 4th Assam Rifles when the foot patrolling team were on their routine duty at Khongtal village under Chakpikarong Police Station on Wednesday at about 6:30 PM by blasting IED using remote control devices, followed by rampant firing with automatic rifles and lethod gun from the armed rebel outfits who were taking shelter in the thick jungle at the Khongtal village.
Three IEDs were reportedly blasted killing 3 Assam Rifles personnel on the spot.
The deceased personnel of the 4th Assam Rifle have been identified as Havildar Pranay Kalita (38), son of Hari Prasad Kalita of Ghatbar village, Barpeta District, Assam; Rifleman Ratan Salam (33), son of S. Ibomcha Singh of Kakching Makha Leikai, Kakching District, Manipur and Rifleman Methna Konyak (37), son of Yiangam Konyak of Totok Chingnyu village, Mon District, Nagaland.
The convoy of 4th Assam Rifles was reportedly returning to their base camp when the armed rebel outfits ambushed them.
Five more personnel of 4th Assam Rifles sustained critical injury after they were hit by the splinters of the blast as well as bullets fired upon them.
The injured personnel in the attack have been identified as Sub. Nguikhotil Haokip (54), NK. Sikander Singh, Rfn. Anish Kumar Singh (27), Hav. Nitul Sarmah (39) and Rfn. Sandeep Kumar (35). They sustained injuries on legs, hands and shoulders and are currently undergoing treatment at the military hospital.
The site of ambush is around 2-km from the Assam Rifles base, the sources said.
Meanwhile, the proscribed outfits of North East India namely Manipur Naga People’s Front (MNPF), Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) and United Liberation Front of Asom – Independent (ULFA-I) have claimed responsibility for the ambush.
Reasoning its action, a joint press release by the three stated that internationally “the era of expansionism is over” but not the Indian expansionism. As the entire world has made up its mind against expansionism, the people of WeSEA are also countering against the expansionism of India. Therefore, the peoples of WeSEA are still fighting against colonial ruler India for our independence, they stated.
As a course of independence struggle against Indian colonisation and expansionism, a combined force of Manipur Naga People’s Front (MNPF), Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) and United Liberation Front of Asom – Independent (ULFA-I) had conducted a joint military offensive against IOF (Indian Occupation Forces) on July 29, 2020 at Sajik Tampak area of Manipur, they claimed in the press statement. During this joint military offensive around 4 IOF personnel were killed in action and many more wounded, they added.
The three proscribed outfits stated that they “deeply regret that in our liberation struggle our brothers of WeSEA are killed or wounded in action”. We know that joining the Indian Occupation Force is not right because roguish India makes enmity among our brothers, they stated called on “brothers and sisters of WeSEA to please withdraw from the Indian forces and instead fight against the roguish India for our independence.”
“We are also calling upon the people of WeSEA to stay away from the Indian Forces that they are the superspreader of infectious Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” they stated.
The joint press release by signed by Ruichumhao Defence Secretary, MNPF; MM Ngouba Chief of Army Staff, PLA and Poresh Asom Vice Chairman & Chief of Army Staff, ULFA[I].