2 BRTF labourers killed in attack, IEDs explode
IMPHAL, 29th April: Two BRTF labourers, including a driver, were killed in an attack by armed persons suspected to be underground cadres while two Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) exploded on Saturday at two different places in the state. Churachandpur-based organisations condemned the killing. Sources said a BRTF driver and his helper were killed when they were attacked by unknown armed persons while going to fetch water near Behiang village in the interior area of Churachandpur district, close to the Myanmar border.
The deceased were identified as Ginlam Khaute, 50, son of Kamzagin of Singhat and Lallianmang, 40, son of Chinkhothang of Behiang village. Both of them were engaged for road development by BRTF. The water tanker they were travelling in was attacked by some well armed persons at a spot between Swanpu village in Manipur and Kheman village in Myanmar, sources said, adding that both of them died at the spot.
Upon receiving the news, troops of 36 Assam Rifles deployed nearby rushed to the spot and a heavy exchange of fire ensued between the two sides. After about 30 minutes of intense firing, the armed men escaped towards Myanmar territory, sources added. Prior to the attack and exchange of fire, an IED exploded early Saturday morning in the middle of Tiddim road near Behiang village which left a crater measuring about two feet in diameter.
The second IED exploded along an inter-village road at Nongren village in Imphal East district, near a Road Opening Patrol post of 49 BSF (CI) at about 7am. The bomb could be low intensity IED fitted with timer. No security personnel were nearby at the time of explosion, sources said, adding the explosion created a crater measuring about one feet in diameter at the site.
A team of BSF attached to Lamlai police and another team of the same police station rushed to the site and conducted a thorough investigation. Meanwhile, the Churachandpur-based Zomi Council and Zomi Students’ Federation strongly condemned the killing two civilians in the aftermath of the IED blast near Behiang in Churachandpur district.
According to Zomi Council, the killing was preceded by a blast triggered in the middle of Tiddim road near Sialsih on Friday by militants suspected to be the same group which carried out the Saturday’s killing. Strongly protesting wanton and unjustifiable acts perpetrated on two consecutive days, Zomi Council said such acts cause panic among innocent villagers of the area. It also called upon the perpetrators to refrain from such violence which caused loss of innocent lives and spread panic all-round.
The council also asked Army personnel deployed in the area to be more cautious and protect people from aggressions by all means. Zomi Students’ Federation, in a condemnation note, urged central security forces deployed in the area to be more vigilant so as to avoid such unwanted incident in future. The federation also called upon groups concerned to maintain dignity and exercise utmost restraint in their action to avoid claiming innocent lives.