GUWAHATI: Militants triggered an IED blast at a village in Manipur’s Ukhrul district on Thursday, killing a jawan and injuring three others of 17 Assam Rifles even as protests broke out in Ukhrul town after insurgents of the Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) killed two civilians.
Defence sources said the explosion took place at around 12 noon at Kashungabout village when the personnel were on a patrol.
The injured personnel were rushed to Leimakhong Army Hospital in state capital Imphal. The slain soldier was identified as havildar Rohit. After the incident, security forces launched a massive combing operation.
Meanwhile, the protests broke out after the NSCN-IM militants had killed the two civilians, both employees of Manipur government.
One Romeo of Khamasom village was beaten to death by the insurgents on the charges of raping a woman, who the locals claimed was his girlfriend.
Later, during a protest against the killing outside the outfit’s Wung Tangkhul Region office, the insurgents opened fire resulting in the death of a protestor, Chingripam Lungleng.
After the incident, the protestors, numbering around 500, attacked the office of the NSCN-IM by pelting stones on it and also made an abortive bid to barge into it.
They were demanding “justifiable” explanation from the insurgents for killing the duo. When reports last came in, the stand-off was on.
The NSCN-IM has been in a peace mode since 1997 following its signing of a ceasefire agreement with the Centre. Most of its leaders, including general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah, hail from Ukhrul.
One of the most contentious demands of the outfit is the creation of a unified Naga homeland called “Greater Nagaland” by slicing off the Naga-inhabited areas of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
Army guns down civilian in Arunachal
A civilian in Arunachal Pradesh was gunned down by the Army, which later called it a case of “mistaken identity”.The incident occurred on Wednesday night in the state’s Changlang district bordering Myanmar. Thingtu Ngemu, 35, was shot dead by the commandos of elite 21 Para (Special Forces) mistaking him to be an ultra, during a counter-insurgency operation.