At least two village volunteers sustained bullet and splinter injuries in a fresh attack at Yaingangpokpi area in Imphal East and around nine womenfolk were injured from a lathi charge by central security forces on Thursday.
Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports said that some bodies were seen lying near the site of the gunfight as seen from a drone footage.
Sources said, suspected Kuki militants started an attack with guns and bombs at Sabungkhok Khunou under Yaingangpokpi Police Station around 3.15 am in Imphal East.
Village volunteers who were guarding the village from the frequent attacks of suspected Kuki militants also retaliated the attack which continued for around 15 minutes.
As per sources, suspected Kuki militants resumed the attack from a brick farm owned by a Meitei located at a foothill towards Sabungkhok Khunou around 8 am.
Village volunteers, BSF personnel and state police retaliated and there was an exchange of fire till 10.30 am. No injury was reported.
The suspected Kuki militants attacked again for the third time around 1 pm towards the same village from Twichin village with bombs.
Amid the gunfight, womenfolk of the area came out on streets of Imphal-Ukhrul road in between Sabungkhok and Sabungkhok Khunou to block the central security forces.
However, central security forces resorted to lathi-charge to control the mob.
As per sources, the central security forces allegedly forced the media team who were covering the incident to delete the footages of the incident.
Central security forces hurled smoke bombs to disperse the womenfolk who were blocking the road at Seijang village. Many of the women were allegedly assaulted by the security forces.
During the incident, at least nine women were injured. Four were rushed to Raj Medicity while the remaining five were given treatment at Sawombung sub health centre.
The gunfight reportedly ceased around 5 pm. During the gunfight, at least 2 village volunteers were injured.
One volunteer who sustained splinter injury at his right buttock and left leg was admitted at Raj Medicity, North AOC and another volunteer who sustained bullet injury at his lower chin was admitted at Little Clinic, Block D, Dingku Road, Chingmang, Imphal (Near Nagaram Village).
Hospital authorities reported that both the injured have been undergoing treatment and both are out of danger.
Meanwhile, a woman villager who accompanied the injured at Raj Medicity narrated that suspected Kuki militants have been taking shots on and off to the nearby valley areas from Sangra and Kounae hills, contrary to claims made by the state government that firing of guns has been controlled in both hills and valley.
She said that almost every night, suspected Kuki militants fire a few rounds at the valley villages but the village volunteers never retaliated before.
“How long must we continue such attacks from militants? The village volunteers were compelled to retaliate only today as the attacks continued unabated,” she added.
Our KPI Correspondent adds: At least three armed men were reportedly killed and several others injured in fresh violence in Kangpokpi district on October 10.
The gunfight occurred at Twichin and Phaimol, two neighboring villages in Kangpokpi district. However, reports did not mention whether the three killed were Kukis or Meiteis.
Speaking over the phone, a resident of Twichin village said that the armed miscreants advanced toward the village around 8.30 am. But, the central security forces deployed in the buffer zone managed to deter the armed miscreants from advancing further.
He also said that the armed groups, however, made their second attack at around 2.45 pm and the third attack at around 3.28 pm. It was also reported that seven sophisticated guns and four Gypsy belonging to the armed miscreants were recovered by the security forces.
The Committee on Tribal Unity Sadar Hills Kangpokpi district vehemently condemned the fresh violence by sporadic firing at Twichin and Phaimol in Kangpokpi district.