Amid the ongoing ethnic unrest in Manipur, a shocking incident unfolded on Tuesday morning along the IT Road at Chalwa area, as a Liangmai Naga man, identified as one Z Hotngampou, fell victim to a brutal assault by two suspected Kuki militants believed to be associated with the Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA).
This incident has raised concerns about the safety of civilians on the IT Road and possible flair up of the ongoing crisis in Manipur.
Narrating the harrowing experience at the Manipur Press Club, Imphal, the 56-year-old victim said that his family, which included his wife and son, was traveling to Imphal in a Bolero Pickup truck loaded with bananas when they were intercepted by two unidentified individuals near the police outpost in Chalwa.
He said, these individuals demanded an extortion payment of Rs 300 as a tax, which their family refused to comply with.
"When I informed them that I would report this matter to my high commands (LMC, UNC, and Naga HoHo) due to the frequent inconveniences, one of them initiated a physical assault, claiming he was affiliated with KRA," he recounted.
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The two miscreants fled from the spot on a motorbike soon after the assault.
The victim further revealed that, following this traumatic incident, he was also subjected to an illegal tax collection of Rs 2,000 by individuals claiming to be associated with the United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF) at Kangpokpi area the same day.
Expressing deep concern and seeking the attention of Naga leaders, Z Hotngampou urged them to take proactive measures to ensure the safety of Naga people and prevent such incidents from recurring in the future.
According to the victim, the two assailants in the Chalwa area were unarmed and dressed in civilian attire.
After reaching Imphal, the victim, accompanied by the chairman of Rianglong village, who resides in Imphal, promptly reported the incident to the media at the Manipur Press Club before seeking medical treatment.
Zindiabou Kalengda, chairman of Rianglong village, strongly condemned the physical assault on a villager by alleged Kuki militants, emphasising that such incidents affect all Liangmai people.
"Such is considered as an attack on the Liangmai community," he added.
He highlighted that the IT Road has become a hotspot for extortion by Kuki militants and called upon the government to ensure the safety of the public along this route, protecting them from anti-social elements.
Meanwhile, the Ahangruak Chief Chairman Association (ACCA) has called a total shutdown condemning the incident terming it as a life attempt on Liangmai Naga indigenous by Kuki militants (KRA), as per a Facebook post by LIANGMAI POST.
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