Fresh violence in Manipur has claimed at least three lives, including of a woman. Two others were injured in the attack, by suspected insurgents in Khoken village on Friday, Army sources said.
The Khoken village lies on the boundary between Kangpokpi and Imphal West district. The suspected militants and the victims belonged to different communities.
According to police sources, the attackers camouflage themselves in army fatigues and drove vehicles resembling those used by the military. They went to the Khoken village early on Friday morning and fired upon the villagers with their automatic rifles.
The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) said that this attack is yet another example of the “utter disregard” shown by insurgents, and demanded swift action against the perpetrators.
“The incident also violated the peace process called by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah. We urge upon the authorities to take decisive actions against the insurgents,” the ITLF said in a statement.
Residents of the village claim that their timely presence during the attack avoided a possible bloodbath, as there were women and children in the village as well.
ITLF in its statement said that one of the victims, Domkhohoi, was shot dead inside a Church when she was in early morning prayers.
Additional columns of the Army and paramilitary forces have been deployed to control the situation in the village.
Meanwhile, reports of incidents of violence including the burning of houses were received from two other districts. But official confirmation has not yet been received.