Manipur CM Biren Singh vows action against suspected extremists for killing police officer in Moreh

Manipur Cabinet noted that the incident happened when a sense of normalcy was slowly setting in

October 31, 2023 06:35 pm | Updated November 01, 2023 06:57 am IST - Guwahati

Relatives and police officers mourn as they carry the body of Chingtham Anand, a Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), after he succumbed to his injuries after he was shot by suspected militants in the border town of Moreh, outside a hospital in Imphal, Manipur, on October 31, 2023.

Relatives and police officers mourn as they carry the body of Chingtham Anand, a Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), after he succumbed to his injuries after he was shot by suspected militants in the border town of Moreh, outside a hospital in Imphal, Manipur, on October 31, 2023. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh has vowed action against extremists who gunned town a sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) in the India-Myanmar border town of Moreh on Tuesday.

Chingtham Anand Kumar, the SDPO, was on duty overseeing the cleaning of the grounds of a school when suspected Kuki militants opened fire on him. He succumbed to his injuries at a local primary health centre.

The school ground was being cleared for the construction of a helipad jointly by the State police and the Border Security Force, officials said.

Taking to social media, Mr. Singh said the killers would be brought to justice.

Kukis are in a majority in Moreh and the incident followed the demand of some organisations for the removal of the State forces from there.

The incident led to the Manipur Cabinet conducting an emergency meeting on the law-and-order situation. It noted that the extremists struck when both sides (Kuki and Meitei communities) of the ethnic conflict were exercising restraint and peace could be maintained for almost months.

“While a sense of normalcy was slowly settling in, an MPS officer has been killed today in unprovoked firing by armed Kuki militants…” an official statement after the Cabinet meeting said.

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The Cabinet approved ex-gratia of ₹50 lakh and a suitable government job to the next of kin of the slain police officer. It directed the forces to launch a joint operation in Moreh and adjoining areas to nab the culprits.

Apart from deciding to rush additional state forces to Moreh, the Cabinet decided that no illegal armed personnel shall be permitted in or around Moreh, considering the strategic position of the town under India’s Act East Policy.

The Cabinet further noted that an organisation named World Kuki-Zo Intellectual Council issued a press release on October 24 calling upon the Kuki-Zo community to maintain sufficient stocks of their arms and ammunitions for facing another war before the harvesting season in November.

“It is further informed that the youth volunteers would be the ones going to face the war on the frontlines, and that its national army/UG groups will join the youth volunteers only in critical situations, citing that this would be because Kuki National Army/UG groups would not be able to join the war freely in view of SoO (suspension of operations) agreement,” the government statement said.

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