IMPHAL: A Manipur Police commando was injured in a heavy gunfire exchange between unidentified gunmen and security forces in Moreh, Tengnoupal district, around 3:50 pm on Saturday, officials said.
Eyewitnesses said the commando was injured when the gunmen targeted police vehicles as they were heading towards the Key Location Point (KLP) from the border town of Moreh.
An officer confirmed, “One commando sustained shrapnel injuries when they came under attack while crossing the M Chahnou village section of Imphal-Moreh road.”
The injured commando has been identified as Ponkhalung of 5 IRB, officials said, adding, he is currently receiving treatment at the 5 Assam Rifles camp.
Police said, “Unidentified gunmen fired shots and threw bombs at the commando team of Moreh at Chikim Veng, Moreh Ward No. 9 in Tengnoupal district. The incident occurred while Manipur police commandos were conducting routine reconnaissance in the area.”
Police said, “Initially, two bombs exploded, followed by 350 to 400 rounds of fire.” Sources said firing was continuing near the New Moreh entrance gate and M Chahnou village. Two houses in Moreh were also set on fire, sources added.
Earlier on the day, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh appealed to all sections of society to shun violence and engage in dialogue to restore peace in the northeastern state.
He denounced the murder of a village guard in Kadangband, Imphal West district, by unknown assailants, saying that bad forces were trying to disturb the tranquility.
Addressing a press conference at the CM’s secretariat, Singh said, “Let’s abandon violence, come to the negotiating table, and initiate a dialogue to restore normalcy.”
He said that security forces had started combing the area in an attempt to find the village guard’s killers and that investigations were still ongoing.
The chief minister gave the assurance that the government apparatus and civil society groups were pursuing peace in the valley and the hills.