Colonel, his family, 4 jawans die in Manipur ambush

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, defence minister Rajnath Singh condemn killing of army officer; success in anti-Maoist operation is second biggest since 2018 when 40 were gunned down

Published: 14th November 2021 07:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th November 2021 07:26 AM   |  A+A-

Colonel Viplav Tripathi.

Colonel Viplav Tripathi. (Photo | ANI)

GUWAHATI:  In one of the deadliest insurgent attacks on security forces in Manipur in recent times, Col Viplav Tripathi, the commanding officer of 46 Assam Rifles, his wife, son and four jawans died in an ambush on Saturday, November 13, 2021, at Thinghat in Churachandpur district close to the Myanmar border. 

Some personnel injured in the attack, which took place around 11 am when the victims were returning from a visit to a forward camp in the Singhat sub-division of the district, were airlifted to Imphal and admitted to a private hospital. The suspected militants first triggered an IED blast followed by indiscriminate firing, official sources said. 

“Five soldiers, including Col Viplav Tripathi, have made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. The family of Commanding Officer i.e wife and child also lost their lives in the incident. DG and all ranks of Assam Rifles offer condolences to the brave soldiers and families of the deceased,” the Assam Rifles said in a statement.

This is the deadliest attack on security personnel in the state since the June 5, 2015, killings of 18 Army personnel in Chandel district by Naga militant group NSCN-K.  No militant organization has so far owned responsibility for the attack but state director general of police L M Khaute told this newspaper that the People’s Liberation Army could be behind the ambush. He said the available indications suggested the involvement of the PLA. A retired Army general also suspected the PLA’s involvement.

“The information I received from the field officer suggests there was some IED blast followed by a series of gunfire, including shell firing,” Khaute said. “We understand that not many people carried out the attack. We are trying to ascertain everything,” the DGP said.

“It was in the (Myanmar) border area. Sometimes, incidents such as this happen in border areas. They come from across, hit when they find an opportunity and go back. This has been their modus operandi for the last several years now,” Khaute said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, defence minister Rajnath Singh, Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were those who condemned the incident.

“Strongly condemn the attack on the Assam Rifles convoy in Manipur. I pay homage to those soldiers and family members who have been martyred today. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of sadness,” the PM tweeted. Rajnath called it a “cowardly attack.” “The nation has lost five brave soldiers, including CO of 46 AR and two family members...The perpetrators will be brought to justice soon,” he said. 



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