At least 13 bodies were found with multiple bullet wounds at Leithao village located about 45 km from Machi Police Station in Tengnoupal district on Monday.
According to sources, the 13 individuals were suspected to be killed during crossfire with unknown groups.
Following reports of the gunfight, a team led by SP Tengnoupal, L Luikham and Machi Police Station OC, S Khupneisong rushed and inspected the crime scene.
When the police team reached the area some Assam Rifles personnel were already at the site, sources stated.
The village also bore a deserted look as almost all the residents had reportedly fled the village, the source added.
Most of the individuals found dead reportedly wore civil dresses and had multiple gunshot wounds to the head. The bodies were found scattered in the village area, sources said.
The 13 individuals are suspected to be from the Meitei community.
Meanwhile, the police team has picked up the bodies around 8 pm and brought them to Tengnoupal district, after which they have been reportedly transferred to JNIMS and kept at its morgue.
Manipur Police confirmed that the 13 persons have been killed in a gunfight between unknown armed miscreants, and a case has been registered and investigation is going on.
Security forces also recovered arms, ammunition from Imphal West, Imphal East, Kakching, Kangpokpi, Bishnupur and Thoubal District during search operations. One active member of MNPF organisation was also arrested from Imphal West District by the security forces along with weapons.
Three SMG carbines with 3 empty magazines, 15 HE-36 hand grenades without detonator, six WP smoke grenades without detonator, 18 2-inch mortar HE bombs and six 75 MK-2 detonators were recovered from Imphal East. One AK-56 Rifle with two magazines, one single barrel rifle, one Chinese grenade, one mortar round, 100 rounds of AK-56 ammunition, seven fired cases of single barrel rifle were recovered from Kangpokpi District.
One .38 pistol along with one magazine loaded with two 38 ammunition, 2 mobile phones, 1 wallet containing one voter ID and Rs 2250, 15 receipt vouchers of MNPF organization, 12 demand letters signed by s/s finance secy. of MNPF organization were recovered from the arrested MNPF cadre. He was involved in extortion from the market area.
Manipur police in a press release further said that movement of 338 and 292 vehicles along NH-37 and NH-2 respectively with essential items have been ensured. Strict security measures are taken up in all vulnerable locations and a security convoy is provided in sensitive stretches in order to ensure free and safe movement of the vehicles, it mentioned.
During the last 24 hours, the situation in the state was tense but under control with sporadic incidents of firing and congregation of protestors, it added.
It stated that a total of 142 Nakas/Checkpoints were installed in different Districts of Manipur, both in the hill and the valley and Police detained 289 persons in connection with violations in different districts of the state.
An appeal is also made to the general public not to believe in rumours and be aware of false videos. Any circulations of unfounded videos etc may be confirmed from the rumour free number - 9233522822 of Central Control room. Further, an appeal is made to the public to return the looted arms, ammunition and explosives to the police or nearest security forces immediately.