Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 13
An Army Colonel, his wife, son and four troopers of the Assam Rifles were killed in a welter of IED (improvised explosive device) explosions and gunfire in Manipur’s Churachandpur district on Saturday morning.
Cowardly attack, extremely painful and condemnable. Will bring culprits to book. — Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister
Once again proves Modi govt is not capable of protecting the nation. My condolences to martyrs’ families. — Rahul Gandhi, Congress Leader
Six other troopers were injured, four of them critically. Part of a quick reaction team of the Assam Rifles, a paramilitary organisation under the Union Home Ministry, they were moving in a convoy.
Colonel Viplov Tripathi, Commanding Officer of the 46 Assam Rifles, who was leading the convoy, was killed along with his wife Anuja Tripathi and their six-year-old son Abeer.
The incident took place at Sehken village in Singngat subdivision of Churachandpur district. The IED attack on a hill road shattered the tenuous peace as the Assam Rifles personnel engaged the militants in a do-or-die fight.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of Manipur has taken responsibility for the attack. In a statement, it said, “The PLA and the Manipur Naga People’s Front attacked the convoy of 46 Assam Rifles in which their Commanding Officer and six other personnel were killed.” The statement said the cadres did not know that CO’s (Colonel Tripathi’s) family was also in the convoy. In the “disturbed area”, family and kids should not be accompanied, the PLA said.
Sources said PLA’s recruits had trained in big numbers in China and at insurgent camps in Myanmar. The PLA, set up by N Bisheshwar Singh on September 25, 1978, is part of “CorCom”, a group of northeast insurgents. In 1989, the PLA formed a political body, called the Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF).
The South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), which compiles data of all terrorist activities, says PLA is reorganised on the lines of a disciplined army. Its militant wing comprises four divisions – Sadar Hill West areas of the valley of Manipur, Sadar Hill areas in the eastern valley, the entire Manipur hill areas and the entire Imphal area. Each division has a “commander, lieutenants, sergeants and lance corporals” in its ranks. PLA activists are equipped with sophisticated arms, the SATP claimed.
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