Insurgents disrupt peace in Manipur before poll

An unidentified insurgent was killed in heavy exchange of fire at a border village with central para military forces while a number of insurgents attempted to enter Manipur to disrupt the forthcoming January 28 assembly elections, reports from the border said today.

Reports said the exchange of fire occured at Nungkor and Khenjoi villages near Indo-Myanmar border yesterday during which the insurgent was killed.

One 9mm pistol, several rounds of ammunition and explosive materials of ten kg were recovered from the victim, sources said adding that the insurgent along with others attempted to enter Manipur from across the border. Insurgents had attempted three times in the past two weeks to enter the state to disrupt the poll process following the declaration that the coordination committee of the seven major insurgent outfits would disturb the Congress candidates since the latter were against what the insurgents called 'revolutionary movement.'

Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard beside a busy street in Imphal. Reuters

The coordination committee (CORCOM) of the seven major outfits oconsisted of United National Liberation Front (UNLF), Revolutionary People's Party (RPF), People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), PREPAK (progessive), Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), United People's Party of Kangleipak (UPPK) AND Kanglei Yawol Kann Lup (KYKL) and the CORCOM 'banned' the Congress candidates.

Several grenade and bomb attacks were carried on the Congress candidates and their supporters at Lamlai, Nagamapal, Sagolband, Thoubal and many other places yesterday, the sources said.

Atacks had also taken place at many places in the past some days particularly in four valley districts of Imphal east, Imphal west, Thoubal and Bishenpur.

Reports from the border said attempts had been made by insurgents to infiltrate into the state to disrupt the poll process and Assam Rifles personnel guarding the international Indo-Myanmar border had foiled three bids in past few weeks. While the first attempt was made on December 24 last, since on January 7 more attacks took place.

The third attempt was made yesterday during which an insurgent was killed and one 9mm pistol, explosive materials of about 10 Kgs and other ammunition were recovered from the victim. Insurgents had hurled grenades at the houses of Congress candidates and their supporters at five different places including the house of former state Education Minister M Oken at interior Heirok village in Thoubal district, reports said adding insurgents have been attacking the houses of Congress candidates and their supporters in the past two or
three weeks.

PTI