Manipur CM condemns ambush on his advance security team, warns of actions

The team was heading to Jiribam – the latest site of the ethnic conflict between Meiteis and Kuki-Zo tribals. CM Singh is supposed to go to the town in a chopper on Tuesday to take stock of the conflict situation.
The injured constable, who is a driver, is admitted at a hospital in the state capital Imphal. He sustained bullet wounds.
The injured constable, who is a driver, is admitted at a hospital in the state capital Imphal. He sustained bullet wounds. Photo | Special arrangement

GUWAHATI: Suspected militants ambushed an advance security team of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Monday, leaving a police constable injured.

The attack was carried out at around 10:30 am on National Highway 37 in Kangpokpi district, the police said.

The team was heading to Jiribam – the latest site of the ethnic conflict between Meiteis and Kuki-Zo tribals. Singh is supposed to go to the town in a chopper on Tuesday to take stock of the conflict situation.

The injured constable, who is a driver, is admitted at a hospital in the state capital Imphal. He sustained bullet wounds.

After visiting him, Singh told the media, “The incident is very unfortunate and highly condemnable. It is an attack on the chief minister and the people of the state. So, the state government has to do something.”

He added that he would consult his colleagues before arriving at any decision on the actions against the perpetrators of the crime.

A senior government official told this newspaper the CM had verbally assured the leaders of a Joint Action Committee (JAC) about his visit to Jiribam. The JAC was formed after the recent killing of a 59-year-old man from the Meitei community.

“The CM had assured that he would visit Jiribam by tomorrow (Tuesday). An advance party of his security, comprising police personnel, was travelling to Jiribam when this unwarranted incident happened,” the official said.

“Preparation is going on in Jiribam for the CM’s visit. People are expecting him. He will talk to senior officials and meet the affected people, leaders of the JAC and representatives of various communities,” the official added.

The Jiribam district, located on Manipur’s westernmost boundary adjoining the Cachar district in Assam’s Barak Valley, has a mixed population of Meiteis, Kuki-Zo tribals and various other communities. Earlier, it was unaffected by the ethnic conflict.

Trouble here broke out last Thursday after the killing of one Soibam Saratkumar Singh. Later, there were a series of incidents of arson, affecting both warring communities.

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