Several Village Defence Force (VDF) volunteers were fatally shot, while others sustained gunshot wounds during a militant attack on Khujuma Tabi village in Bishnupur district, Manipur.
The incident occurred during the early hours of Sunday. While media reports suggested that seven individuals lost their lives and there was an exchange of gunfire between the VDF volunteers and the militants, officials in Imphal have not provided a definitive confirmation or denial of these reports.
According to officials in Imphal, the VDF volunteers who were stationed to protect the village due to the prevailing ethnic violence between the Meitei and Kuki communities were attacked while they were sleeping after their night shift. The volunteers lost their lives in the incident.
The militants also seized two weapons belonging to the VDF before departing from the scene.
Additionally, the attack resulted in injuries to at least five villagers who were promptly transported to nearby hospitals for medical treatment.
Forces personnel have deployed to the affected areas and initiated a thorough search operation with the aim of apprehending the militants responsible for the attack.
In response to the incident, the villagers are organizing to transport the deceased bodies to the capital city of Imphal, where they plan to demand justice for the victims.
Furthermore, the Chief Minister of Manipur, N. Biren Singh, visited the Khujuma Tabi village in Bishnupur district along with Churachandpur district, likely to assess the situation and provide support to the affected community.
Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey, on the other hand, has urged people from all communities to assist the government and security forces in their efforts to restore peace and normalcy to the region.
“I, from the bottom of my heart, further appeal to you all, especially mothers and sisters to restrain from blocking security forces on the roads as they are discharging their responsibilities for the safety of the people,” the Governor said in a message.