Videos of Tussel from Manipur between Assam Rifles and Armed Men resurfaces on Social Media

Imphal: Videos of a tense stand-off between the Assam Rifles and a group of armed men in Manipur’s border town Moreh have emerged on social media, raising questions over how a few armed men stopped the security forces from moving around in the town just a stone’s throw away from conflict-hit Myanmar

The incident happened on January 17, the day two Manipur Police commandos were killed in action while returning fire at insurgents. A day after the gunfight, Manipur Security Adviser Kuldeep Singh had told reporters that “numerous Kuki militants started firing at commando posts in three locations”, and the commandos being at a lower elevation were “sitting ducks”.

The videos that surfaced on social media today were taken on 17th January, Assam Rifles soldiers inside an armoured vehicle were heard shouting warnings at the armed men who were blocking their way.

“Please go to the side. Don’t do this. Don’t fire at our vehicle,” a soldier is heard saying.

Then the armed men in camouflaged battledress, numbering some 10-15, surrounded the armoured vehicle and waved at the soldiers to not press on.

Still from the video surfacing on the Internet.

At this, the soldier inside the vehicle shouts, “All of you stop firing. Aap logon ko nuksaan hoga (it won’t be good for you). Get to the side. Let our vehicle go. Why don’t you understand?”

The Assam Rifles uses an evolved Indian version of the South African-origin Casspir mine-protected vehicle.

The Assam Rifles have in the past rescued police commandos pinned down with suppressive fire by hill-based insurgents in and around Moreh.

The January 17 attack on the police commandos involved rocket-propelled grenades fired by insurgents. Kuldeep Singh, the state Security Adviser, had said there was a possibility that Myanmar-based insurgents may have entered Manipur, but there was no evidence yet.

At least 25 Kuki insurgent groups have signed the tripartite suspension of operations (SoO) agreement with the Centre and the state.

Under the SoO agreement, the insurgents are housed in designated camps. There have been allegations that full attendance at many of the SoO camps has not been observed.

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