IMPHAL- A soldier of the Assam Rifles (AR) opened fire at his colleagues in south Manipur before shooting himself dead. Six soldiers have sustained injuries and have been rushed to the military hospital in Churachandpur.
The incident took place within the AR battalion premises, where the soldier, hailing from Churachandpur in strife-torn Manipur, discharged his firearm at fellow AR personnel.
The soldier, identified as a Kuki, succumbed to his injuries. The victims are neither Meities nor residents of Manipur, according to people aware of the matter.
The motive behind the shooting remains unclear, and authorities are investigating the matter.
Assam Rifles issued a statement asserting the “unfortunate incident should not be correlated with ongoing conflict”.
“In light of the ongoing ethnic strife in Manipur, it is important to share the details of the incident transparently to dispel any potential rumours and avoid any speculation,” the central paramilitary force said.
“All Assam Rifles battalions have mixed class composition including those belonging to various communities from Manipur. All personnel have been staying and operating together despite polarisation of society to maintain peace and stability in Manipur,” it added.
Manipur has been roiled by ethnic violence between the Meitei (which is in majority in Imphal Valley) and the Kuki-Zo communities (who are dominant in a few hill districts) since May last year. The violence has claimed at least 207 lives and displaced around 50,000.