The suspected militants killed three people, including a woman, and injured two more on Friday in the village of Khoken in Manipur, according to the police. This was the latest violent event to occur in the unrest-plagued state.
The alleged militants and the victims are from different communities, and Khoken village is located on the border between Kangpokpi and Imphal West districts.
One of the victims, Domkhohoi, allegedly died after being shot inside a church while she was participating in morning prayer.
Statement of Police & Government Officials
Three people were murdered and two more were hurt when armed mice started shooting at a community of Kuki. Operations to find the offenders have been started, Superintendent of Police Manoj Prabhakar M. from Kangpokpi said.
The extremists, who the Manipur police said were driving military vehicles and dressed in khaki, allegedly arrived at the Khoken village early on Friday and opened fire on the locals with automatic rifles.
According to a senior government official, it is explicitly forbidden to conduct combing operations in the early morning or late at night. We need to gain the confidence of the populace since the situation is unstable. Security forces never conduct an operation before 7 am. Only during the day do we work. Instead of the local police, central forces have been stationed in the borderlands between the two villages.
In the last 24 hours, 57 guns, 1,588 rounds of ammunition, and 23 bombs have been found in Manipur’s Imphal East, Tengnuoupal, Kakching, and Bishnupur districts, according to a senior government official. Up to this point, a total of 953 weapons, 13,351 ammunition, and 223 distinct types of bombs have been found. Since May 3, more than 4,000 guns have been stolen from police armouries.
Statements of Locals
Khup Doungel, a private instructor, reported that approximately 20 men wearing police uniforms arrived at the Khoken village at 4.30 am.
We hurried to the neighbouring Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp as soon as we heard gunshots. Most of the locals escape damage in this way. The armed Meitei group shot and killed the woman because she was inside the church and could not hear the gunshots. On the phone from Khoken village, Mr Doungel claimed that the other two men who perished were in the fields at the time of the attack.
He claimed that two days prior to the attack, both communities met in the village to discuss peace and resolution against targeting women and children.
ITLF’s Statement on Manipur Violence
Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), which blamed the Meitei community for the murder, claimed that this incident is just another illustration of the militants’ complete disdain for civilian life and asked that immediate action be done against those responsible.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been established by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to look into the six incidences of reported ethnic violence in Manipur. Ten individuals will make up the SIT under the direction of a Deputy Inspector General. On Friday, the CBI assumed control of the inquiry.
Additionally, the incident broke the peace agreement that Union Home Minister Amit Shah had asked for. We want the government to act swiftly to suppress the extremists, the ITLF stated in a statement.
To maintain control over the situation in the Khoken village, additional columns of the Army and paramilitary troops have been sent in.
In the meantime, reports of violent incidents, including home fires, came in from two more areas. No official confirmation, though, has been made as of yet.