Manipur violence: Mother, 3 family members of soldier abducted by mob in Kangpokpi district

The abduction followed a two-hour encounter, in which firearms were used, between armed miscreants from the Kuki-Zo and Meitei communities. Several people, including passers-by were reported injured

Updated - November 08, 2023 12:06 pm IST

Published - November 08, 2023 02:17 am IST - NEW DELHI

Local residents stop an Army vehicle from moving towards a gunfight site in Imphal on Tuesday. 

Local residents stop an Army vehicle from moving towards a gunfight site in Imphal on Tuesday.  | Photo Credit: via Reuters

Four tribals, members of a soldier’s family, including his mother are missing after they were snatched by a mob when their vehicle was stopped at a security checkpoint near Kangchup Chingkhong village in Manipur’s Kangpokpi district on Tuesday, a defence source said. A fifth occupant of the vehicle, the soldier’s 65-year-old father was rescued by security forces present at the spot received multiple injuries and has been admitted to a hospital in a critical state . The soldier, a tribal belonging to the Kuki-Zo community is not posted in Manipur. The incident was reported from areas bordering Kangpokpi, a hill district with majority Kuki-Zo population and Imphal West, a Meitei dominated area. 

The abduction followed a two-hour encounter, in which firearms were used, between armed miscreants from the Kuki-Zo and Meitei communities. Several people, including passers-by were reported injured. 

The source said that efforts are on to rescue the civilians.

“The incident was reported on Tuesday morning in the Kangchup Chingkhong village when five civilians in a Bolero car were stopped at a security check post. Soon a mob appeared and abducted the four, including two women. The central security forces deployed there could only rescue one of them,” the source added. 

The Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF), a Kuki-Zo body said that five civilians were travelling towards L. Phaijang village when they were accosted by gunmen. “In the ensuing scuffle, 65-year-old Manglun Haokip from Bolkot village was injured and fell unconscious. Thinking him dead the attackers left him. CRPF personnel later found him and transported him to Leimakhong. Due to the severity of his injuries, he has been airlifted to a neighbouring State,” the ITLF said. 

Two women (Nengkim, 60, from Bolkot and Neilam, 55, from Laimanai) and two men John Thangjalam Haokip, 25, from Bolkot and Jamkhothang, 40, from Mongjang) have been abducted, ITLF said.

The Manipur Police posted on X that one occupant of the vehicle managed to escape. “The whereabouts of the other four individuals, including the one who escaped, remain unknown. Security forces are actively working to locate the missing individuals and rescue them,” police said.

It said that the “five individuals belonging to the Kuki community (two women and three men) were en-route from Churachandpur to Leimakhong when they were confronted by an enraged mob.”

Amidst the confrontation between the mob and the Security Forces, armed miscreants exchanged fire in the K. Songlung hill range, Koutruk and Tairenpokpi, police said. “In this incident, two policemen and seven civilians sustained injuries and were evacuated to hospital. Security forces eventually controlled the situation. Forces also carried out search operations in the area and destroyed one bunker,” police added. .

On Sunday, two teenage boys belonging to the Meitei community went missing in the same area. The police said on Monday that three individuals had been detained from the hill district of Kangpokpi in connection with the incident.

On Tuesday, two accused - Lhunkhosei Chongling(30) and Satgougin Hangsing (28). E members of Kuki Revolutionary Army (U), an insurgent group observing a ceasefire with the Central and State governments, were arrested for alleged involvement in the abduction of the two teenagers. The two accused were arrested from Senapati district, a Naga dominated area and produced before a court in Imphal West via video conferencing as they could not be produced physically due to the “ethnic crisis,” a court document said. The two have been sent to police custody till November 17.

The police said in its application that “it is highly likely that the two boys have been abducted by KRA(U) cadres.”

Tension has gripped the valley again over the fate of the two boys, identified as Maibam Avinash, 16, and Ningthoujam Anthony, 19, who went missing after they visited the Sekmai area in Imphal West district on Sunday morning to attend a function.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.