In yet another wave of violence, suspected Kuki militants have launched a fresh attack on Meitei villages in peripheral areas of Manipur. The militants, heavily armed and stationed at Napat area in Bishnupur district, opened fire in the villages of Sugnu area in Kakching district, resulting in a fierce gunbattle between security forces and the militants.
Reports indicate that at least six police commando personnel sustained injuries during the exchange of fire. Tragically, four bodies of Meitei community members killed in the previous attack by suspected Kuki militants at Napat a couple of days ago remain unclaimed at Sugnu, as visiting the site is deemed unsafe.
The volatile situation in Manipur continues to be marred by sporadic violence, as gunfights persist on the fringes of the valley. In a separate incident, there was a heavy exchange of fire between security forces and suspected Kuki militants at Leitanpokpi, under the Khundrakpam constituency in Imphal East. The clash lasted for three hours. Another gunfight was reported from Chanung under Sagolmang Police Station, also in Imphal East. Additionally, reports indicate that security forces exchanged fire with militants at the Dolaithabi area, although no injuries or loss of life have been reported thus far.
In a distressing development, an unidentified Kuki man claimed responsibility for the killing of a 26-year-old Meitei youth from Khongjom. Heigrujam Robinsana, the son of Dhana from Khongjom Keithel, had gone missing since the violence erupted in the Sugnu area of Kakching district on May 28. Robinsana was among a group of youths from Khongjom who rushed to Sugnu to protect the villagers after suspected Kuki militants launched an attack and set houses ablaze.
The unknown caller, claiming to be Kuki, stated over the phone that they had killed Robinsana. The Khongjom Circle Co-ordinating Committee has urged the authorities to promptly investigate and locate Robinsana. Concerned residents of Khongjom, Sapam, Tekcham, Chingtham, Papal, Langthabal, Langathel, Phundrei, Samaram, and surrounding areas staged a sit-in protest at Khongjom Keithel, demanding that the relevant authorities take immediate action to trace Robinsana's whereabouts.
During the sit-in protest, M Tomba, the convenor of the Khongjom Circle Co-Ordinating Committee, highlighted that Robinsana had gone to aid the people of Serou and Sugnu, along with numerous others from the Khongjom area. However, he did not return with the other youths. Robinsana's family and the residents of Khongjom and its surrounding areas, believing him to be a victim of murder, expressed their anguish following an alarming phone conversation with an individual who identified himself as a Kuki and claimed to have killed Robinsana.
The situation in Manipur remains tense, and the authorities are under increasing pressure to bring the perpetrators of these violent attacks to justice and ensure the safety of the affected communities.