IMPHAL, 13 Nov: Colonel Viplav Tripathi, the commanding officer of the Khuga battalion of the Assam Rifles, his wife and son, besides four personnel of the paramilitary force were killed in an ambush in Manipur on Saturday morning, in fresh eruption of militant violence in the border state, officials said.
Tripathi’s convoy was targeted at Sehkan village in Churachandpur district by suspected militants of the People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), a militant group in Manipur demanding a separate homeland.
Improvised explosive devices burst, shattering the tenuous peace in Manipur hills, before the Assam Rifles personnel engaged the militants in a firefight.
“In the firefight which followed with the militants (suspected PREPAK/PLA cadres) the commanding officer and three quick response team personnel lost their lives on the spot. The family of the commanding officer (wife and six-year-old son) also lost their lives. The other injured personnel were admitted at Behianga healthcare centre,” the Assam Rifles said in a press statement.
However, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who promised “justice” to the affected families, indicated that one more jawan of the force had died.
“The cowardly attack on an Assam Rifles convoy in Churachandpur, Manipur is extremely painful & condemnable. The nation has lost 5 brave soldiers including CO 46 AR and two family members. My condolences to the bereaved families. The perpetrators will be brought to justice soon,” he tweeted.
Though the defence minister’s tweet indicated that one more jawan was killed, there was no immediate confirmation from the Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force in the country, raised in 1835 under the British rule.
The Assam Rifles statement said it suspected that the insurgent group responsible for this massacre “must be from PREPAK cadre as the PREPAK remembrance day is celebrated on 12/13 November 2021.” (PTI)