Assam Rifles CO, 7 killed including family in Manipur, there is peace

Assam Rifles CO, 7 killed including family in Manipur, there is peace

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that a commanding officer of the Assam Rifles, his wife and son besides four personnel of the country’s oldest paramilitary force were killed in IED blasts and gunfire in Manipur’s Churachandpur district on Saturday.

Biplab Tripathi, commanding officer of Khuga Battalion of Assam Rifles, a colonel-rank officer, his family and others were killed in an ambush on Saturday morning, in the latest blast of militant violence in the border state blamed on a rebel outfit.

Tripathi’s convoy was targeted at Sehkan village in Churachandpur district by suspected militants of the People’s Revolutionary Party of Kanglipak (PREPAK), an insurgent group in Manipur.

“The cowardly attack on the Assam Rifles convoy at Churachandpur in Manipur is extremely painful and 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 get justice soon. Will be brought to the court of justice,” the Defense Minister tweeted.

Condemning the attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the sacrifice of soldiers and their families will never be forgotten.

The PM wrote on Twitter, “I pay tribute to the soldiers and family members who have been martyred today. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten. My condolences to the bereaved families in this hour of grief.”

The incident is the first major attack on security forces since June 4, 2018, when an army convoy was similarly targeted in Chandel district, killing 18 personnel and injuring others. The soldiers of the Road Opening Patrol (ROP) of the 6 Dogra Regiment of the Army were martyred.

The state, which had been in the grip of militancy for decades, was largely calm since then.

On Saturday, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded on a mountainous road, shattering weak peace in Manipur, before Assam Rifles personnel engaged the militants in do or die shelling.

Bullets rained down from the hilltops covered in hills, as security personnel retreated to hide and opened fire from behind trees and boulders.

“Five soldiers including Col. Biplab Tripathi, Commanding Officer of 46 Assam Rifles have made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. The Commanding Officer’s family i.e. wife and child also lost their lives in the incident. DG and all ranks of Assam Rifles expressed condolences. To the brave soldiers and the families of the dead,” the force said in a press statement.

Earlier, it had said that the commanding officer and three personnel of the Quick Reaction Team were killed in the attack.

The Assam Rifles is the oldest paramilitary force in the country, which was established in 1835 under British rule. It is under the administrative jurisdiction of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), but under the operational control of the Indian Army.

The force praised the slain officer, who had earlier served in Mizoram till he was transferred to Manipur in July 2021.

“During his tenure in Mizoram, under his able and energetic leadership, the battalion has been at the forefront of border management in thwarting illegal smuggling in the IMB and hinterland. The battalion has also recovered several arms and war-like stores that were in hand. Could have come to avoid such huge casualties of anti-national elements.

“Colonel Viplav though his remarkable efforts have been closely associated with the local people of Mizoram. The anti-drug campaign carried out by his battalion in January 2021 received many praises and accolades and ensured that the entire country including remote villages Awareness was created in the state. The youth are directed in the right direction,” the statement said, adding that “their goodwill for the society will last for eternity”.

The Assam Rifles statement said it is suspected that the insurgent group responsible for this massacre “must be from the PREPAK cadre as the PREPAK Remembrance Day is observed on 12/13 November 2021”.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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