Manipur CM’s security convoy ambushed, Biren not present at spot

| | Imphal/New Delhi
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Manipur CM’s security convoy ambushed, Biren not present at spot

Tuesday, 11 June 2024 | PNS | Imphal/New Delhi

Suspected militants ambushed the advance security convoy of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh in Kangpokpi district on Monday morning, leaving one personnel injured. The convoy was on its way to violence-hit Jiribam district when it came under attack around 10.30 am near Kotlen village along a stretch of National Highway-53, police officials said.

Multiple gunshots were fired at the vehicles of the security forces, who retaliated, a police officer said. The driver of one of the convoy vehicles suffered bullet injuries on his right shoulder, and he is being taken to a hospital in Imphal, the officer said.  "Security forces have reached the ambush site, around 36 km from the state capital, and launched combing operations to trace the gunmen," he said.

"CM Biren Singh, who is yet to reach Imphal from Delhi, was planning to visit Jiribam to take stock of the situation in the district," said an official.

“Two police outposts, a forest beat office and at least 70 houses were torched in Jiribam by suspected militants on Saturday in a fresh bout of violence in the ethnic strife-torn state. Biren was in Delhi to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which he described as his responsibility as a Chief Minister.

Singh condemned the ambush and termed it a direct attack on himself and the people of the State, assuring that the "rule of law" will be established. Speaking to reporters at Shija hospital, where the injured person is undergoing treatment, Singh said, "It is very unfortunate and highly condemnable. It's an attack on the Chief Minister, which means a direct attack on the people of the State. The state government has to do something... We will take a decision."

Singh explained that fortunately the person was not seriously injured.

He said, "Earlier, the State Government did not retaliate much in the hope that an understanding could be achieved through talks."

"However, certain violent acts have been perpetuated on people as if a state government does not exist. This has hurt me deeply. There have been consistent insults to existing state machineries, and we have tolerated them for so long. The attack on an advance security team of the CM is an attack on the CM himself," Singh said, adding, "All are requested to decide for themselves who are with the Government and who are against it."

Meanwhile, additional State and Central forces, including Assam Rifles and CRPF, rushed to the ambush site and launched search operations to apprehend the perpetrators. However, no arrests have been made. Jiribam district has been affected by violence since June 6. More than 70 houses have been torched, along with two police outposts and one forest beat office. Around 600 people have been displaced due to the violence.

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