Seven Killed, Six Hurt In Ambush On Wungnaoshang’s Convoy

The battered Gypsy in which the MLA was travelling and an injured man at RIMS. Image Credit: Sangai PhotoIMPHAL, Apr 15: At least six security escort personnel of MLA of Phungyar Assembly Constituency Wungnaoshang Keishing and his personal driver lost their lives while six others including civilian sustained injuries when armed persons suspected to be cadres of Naga rebel group NSCN (IM) laid an ambush on the MLA today.

The MLA, however, escaped unhurt.

The incident occurred at around 2.30 pm today while MLA Wungnaoshang was returning to Imphal along with his convoy in three Gypsys after attending a public function at Riha village under Litan Police Station.

Riha village falls within the home Constituency of the MLA.

The ambush was laid a spot along the hilly road towards Yaingangpokpi just around one and half kilometer away from Riha. The site of the attack is about 40 kms from Imphal.

The MLA had gone to Riha to participate in a HIV/AIDS awareness campaign

According to police report, when the armed attackers started the assault, the escort personnel retaliated. In the gun fight that ensued, six security personnel and one civilian driver lost their lives.

Five other security personnel and another civilian who were travelling together with the MLA also sustained bullet injuries in the attack.

The deceased have been identified as Havildar the in 6th Manipur Rifles Hodam Narendra (29) of Keishamthong Hodam Leirak, Rifleman in the same Battalion Kunjo, another Rifleman Tomba and Havildar in Manipur Rifles, Md Tajuddin of Yairipok Bamon Leikai and Riflemen in Ist Manipur Rifles, Surchand and Purem.

Personal driver of the MLA identified as Ramreingam alias Aboi (23) of Patbung died at the spot.

All the deceased bore multiple bullet wounds on their bodies.

All the three Gypsys in the convoy of the MLA also bore bullet holes.

The pilot Gypsy (MN-06L/2672) and the last Gypsy (MN-01W/1958) rammed against the hill cliff and fell into the road side drain while the hard top body Gypsy (MN-01K/6264), in which the MLA was travelling fell into a gorge around 250 feet deep.

Purem, Tajuddin, Surchand and the driver Aboi died inside the MLA’s Gypsy while the three other victims also passed away in the Gypsy which brought up the rear of the convoy.

Those who sustained injuries in the attack have been identified as Rifleman in Ist Manipur Rifles Alil Rahman (34) of Sangaiyumpham Nungou Yangbi Leikai, another Rifleman Takhelchangbam Lilabanta Sharma (40) of Bamon Leikai Mange Makhong and personnel of 6th Manipur Rifle Sarangthem Mangi (41) of Nambol Thiyam Maning Leikai. All three of them have been admitted to RIMS for treatment with multiple bullet injuries.

Retired District Social Welfare Officer Vaorei Keishing (65) of New Checkon, driver in 2nd Manipur Rifles Thokchom Sunildro (40) of Malom Tuliyaima and Rifleman in 6th Manipur Rifles Stephen Keishing of Huishu have been admitted to Shija Hospital. They also suffered multiple bullet injuries.

Talking to The Sangai Express, MLA Wungnaoshang Keishing informed that five additional security escort parties’ personnel had accompanied him without the PSO.

The MLA recalled that when the attack started, his driver lost control of the vehicle and as it was about to fall headlong into the gorge, he managed to open the door and jump out. After rolling over two/three times, he fell inside the roadside drain.

The MLA said that he was sitting on the front seat on the left side of his Gypsy.

After the firing ceased, the MLA said, he saw around five armed persons going up the hill. One of the armed persons covered his mouth with some cloths.

The MLA, however, declined to comment on possible armed groups behind the attack.

After MLA Wungnaoshang safely arrived at his quarters at Babupara, Deputy Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly Th Lokeshore, president of MPCC Gaikhangam, IFC Minister N Biren and other MLAs/Minister started visiting one after another to inquiry about his well-being.

It may be noted here that an Independent MLA elected from Phungyar Assembly Constituency, Wungnaoshang Keishing, who is also the convener of Phungyar District Demand Committee has been very vocal in their demand  for creation of Phungyar Assembly Constituency as a separate district after bifurcating it from Ukhrul district.

However, United Naga Council (UNC) and other Tangkhul bodies have objected to the initiative of the MLA.

Meanwhile, according to another source, six AK-Rifles, 3 SLRs and one carbine, which the security escort personnel of the MLA have carried, are yet to be recovered.

The report, however, could not be confirmed.

The bodies of the deceased have been deposited at the mortuary of RIMS and Litan police station has started investigation into the incident along with registering an FIR.

Meanwhile the Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong, Imphal and the Zinsho Katamnao Long have strongly condemned the attack on the MLA’s convoy. The student bodies also share the grief and pain of the family members.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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