Kuki groups have refuted Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s allegations that foreign insurgents could be involved in the attacks on police commandos and the Border Security Force (BSF) in the border town Moreh.
After a 24-hour shutdown in areas where the Kuki tribes live, the Kuki groups led by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF) and the Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU) have demanded the Centre to remove the Manipur Police and keep only central forces in the hill areas, where the Kukis are settled.
The Kuki groups have alleged the Manipur Police of bias in how they operate.
They appealed to Home Minister Amit Shah to reimpose the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in the entire Imphal valley.
The Chief Minister has said he was “highly upset” with the ongoing violence in Manipur and elements who engage in it will be held responsible for any stringent government action, including reimposition of the AFSPA.
“Whatever is going on in the society now is too much. The government will find it really hard to tolerate if anyone or any group keeps on taking the law into their own hands. The central government will not keep on looking. If AFSPA is again reimposed, they will be held responsible,” he said after visiting those injured in a firing incident at Lilong Chingjao area in Manipur’s Thoubal district earlier this week.
Four men were killed by insurgents of the Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), the political wing of the banned People’s Liberation Army (PLA), in Lilong Chingjao on Monday. Ten others were injured in the incident and are currently undergoing treatment.
The incident was seen as the fallout of a dispute over money collected through illegal drugs trade, officials said. After the attack, locals set fire to four vehicles in which the attackers had arrived.
Before this, on January 2, seven security personnel were injured in a gunfight in Manipur. Officials said four police commandos and three BSF soldiers were injured in the gunfight between suspected insurgents in Manipur’s border town Moreh.
It was after this encounter that the Chief Minister said they suspect the involvement of foreign mercenaries in the ambush.