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Manipur rebels refuse talks

Imphal, Oct. 6: The coordination committee of seven rebel groups refused peace talks, two Gorkha Rifles jawans were injured in an ambush and police recovered 10kg RDX in separate incidents in Manipur in the past 24 hours.

 

The rebels’ coordination committee rejected state home minister Gaikhangam’s call for talks in a statement issued last night, saying that it will not start peace parleys with the Centre.

The committee comprises Kangleipak Communist Party, Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup, Peoples’ Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak, Peoples’ Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Progressive), Revolutionary Peoples’ Front, United National Liberation Front and United Peoples’ Party Kangleipak.

Regarding today’s ambush, army sources said suspected Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) rebels ambushed a foot patrol team of Gorkha Rifles at Kheljang village in Churachandpur district this morning, injuring two jawans. The jawans were airlifted to Leimakhong army hospital on the outskirts of Imphal. One of them is stated to be serious.

The ambush came after security forces intensified patrolling in Tamenglong district following factional clashes between cadres of NSCN (I-M) and NSCN (K)-ZUF combine in the past few weeks. The site of today’s ambush is a ZUF stronghold.

The latest gunfight between NSCN (I-M) and NSCN (K)-ZUF cadres took place on Tuesday at the Tamenglong district headquarters, resulting in the death of a civilian.

Enraged Tamenglong residents imposed a fine of Rs 50 lakh on NSCN (I-M) and Rs 20 lakh each on NSCN (K) and ZUF, payable to the family of the deceased civilian.

The United Naga Council, while expressing concern over the clashes, has called for immediate end to the hostilities.

At Khamnam Bazar in Imphal West, the police recovered 10kg of RDX, three remote control devices, 15 electric detonator wires, 12 electrical circuit boards and eight dry cells last night.

The police said the explosives were hidden by Sapam Ranjan, 18, a Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup rebel who was killed in an encounter with the police at Takyel Khongbal in the district last week. Ranjan was allegedly planning to trigger a series of blasts here.

In another development, four police personnel, including a sub-inspector, were suspended for allegedly killing a former militant in a fake encounter on Tuesday.

The four were accused of abducting Thiyam Romenkumar from his Imphal West home on Monday and killing him at Lamdeng Khunou, also in Imphal West, the next day.