Imphal, Dec. 8: Suspected militants today attacked police vehicles on the Imphal-Ukhrul highway, killing three policemen, including a sub-inspector.
The superintendent of police, Ukhrul, had been reported missing after the ambush, but it transpired that he had escaped unhurt.
Official sources said the incident occurred near New Heaven village, 60 km from the state capital. Armed militants opened fire on a police team travelling to Imphal from Ukhrul in two Maruti Gypsies and a truck.
Three policemen were injured in the ambush. Superintendent of police S. Manglemjao Singh could not be traced after the attack, sources said. Unconfirmed reports said he survived the ambush.
Director-general of police S. Bimolchandra Singh is leading a search operation to rescue the missing SP. The three injured personnel were admitted to the J.N. Hospital here, but two of them were shifted to the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) after their condition deteriorated.
Sources said additional director-general of police C. Peter Ngahanyui was trailing the police team. It was only when he reached the site of the encounter that the attack came to light. He then rushed to the Litan police station and called for reinforcement.
The state police chief then joined the hunt for the killers. Troops of the Assam Rifles are also assisting in the search operation.
The three injured policemen, who were brought to the J.N. Hospital at 6.45 pm without any senior police officials accompanying them, were admitted by other constables and their relatives.
Sources said the transfer of the two policemen to the RIMS took a lot of time as no police vehicle was ready.
The police are yet to identify the militants though the area is dominated by Nagas. An injured policeman told The Telegraph that the rebels were dressed in olive green uniforms.
The Manipur People’s Army, which is the armed wing of the United National Liberation Front, had killed seven CRPF personnel at Jivan Nagar in Bishenpur district on November 20.