Village volunteers of Koutruk rescued an elderly couple of the Kom community from an alleged attack by suspected Kuki militants at Bethel village in Kangpokpi district under Kangchup police station and handed them over to Lamshang police station, sources said.
As per the sources, suspected Kuki militants attacked Koutruk village under Lamshang Police station around 8.30 pm on Tuesday, following which the 5th IRB stationed at Koutruk and village volunteers retaliated the attack.
The militants again started attacking around 4 am on Wednesday, the sources said, adding that the village volunteers fought back and chased them to Bethel village.
The sources said that village volunteers saw the Kuki militants fleeing from a nearby church and came across blood stains in the area. It is believed that the Kuki militants might have sustained injuries from the gunfight, the sources said.
The village volunteers rescued the couple who were caught in the crossfire, the sources said, adding that the couple are Muichao Kom, 70, son of late Yaima Kom and his wife Nengchong, 68.
According to Muichao, his true ethnicity is Kharam Thadoi and he has been living in Bethel village since the year 1972, even before the Kukis started settling there. Every Kom people of Kharam Thadoi tribe have been converted to Kuki tribe, he added.
He further said that every house of Bethel village has been torched in the ongoing violence, and the few people of Kom tribe of Bethel village also fled for their lives. However, he and his wife came back to the village even if they had to take their last breath in Bethel village, he said.
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The couple were handed over to Lamshang police station and were later handed over to COCOMI.
Meanwhile, gunfights between Kuki militants and village volunteers continued in the Koutruk village area since Monday night. Kuki militants again attacked Koutruk village from Haraothel village side on Wednesday at around 4.45 am, the sources said.
The Kuki militants even used LMGs during the attack; but they stopped firing after the village volunteers retaliated the attack, the sources added.