Armed assailants continue attacks on tribal areas in Manipur ignoring calls by Home Minister: Tribal body

Manipur violence (File Photo)

Imphal, Aug 31 (IANS) The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) on Thursday said that disregarding repeated calls by Union Home Minister Amit Shah to maintain peace, armed assailants continue to attack the tribal areas in Manipur, killing four people during the past three days.

Senior tribal leader and ITLF spokesman Ginza Vualzong said that one of the four dead, L.S Mangboi Lhungdim, 50, composed the song “I Gam Hilou Ham (Is this not our land?)” after the ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, and it became a rallying cry for tribal unity.

He said that a Kuki-Zo tribal, Paokam Kipgen, died in the attacks while two others were injured.

Two tribals — Richard Hemkholun and Jangminlun Gangte — who were injured in a bomb attack on Wednesday succumbed to their wounds on Thursday.

The ITLF, in a statement, said that for the third consecutive day on Thursday, armed radicals attacked tribal positions in areas bordering Churachandpur and Bishnupur districts, disregarding repeated calls by Union Home Minister Shah to maintain peace.

The attacks on Thursday started around 6 a.m. and happened simultaneously at six locations – Chingphei, Lonphai, Langchingmanbi, Khousabung, Khoirengtak, and Kangathei. The armed assailants have lately been pounding tribal areas with mortar shells stolen from police stations and armouries, and this is leading to high tribal casualties, it said.

The ITLF once again urges the government and security forces to prioritise the retrieval of looted weapons, the statement said adding that these unending attacks are clearly a ploy to derail political talks between Kuki outfits (who are under Suspension of Operations) and the Central government.

The latest round of talks with the government was held on Thursday and would continue on Friday. ITLF condemns the dastardly attacks and appeals to the security forces to ensure the safety of tribals who are guarding their villages in the foothills, the statement said.

- Advertisement -