Militants fire at security convoy of Manipur Deputy CM

Imphal
22 Feb 2017

Armed militant`s involvement in the upcoming Assembly Election in Manipur is now clear, as well equipped cadres today ambushed advance security team which were on their way to make free passage for the VIPs and VVIPs of deputy chief minister here.
The militants attacked two different places along the hilly Tongjei Maril route connecting Bishnupur and Noney districts when Gaikhangam was on his way to attend a flag-hoisting function related to the election campaign at his constituency of Khoupum, about 85 km west of Imphal. According to reports, first incident occurred at around 8.30 am on Tuesday. As the convoy reached Thingkhongjang village under Khoupum police station some heavily armed militants ambushed the team from two sides. The police team retaliated and the gunfight took place for some minutes. The armed militants reportedly fled the area. As they proceeded, another well equipped militants reportedly fired towards the police convoy at around 6/7 Km away from Khoupum police station.
The police team retaliated the second time the gunfight did not last long as the militants escaped taking advantage of the hilly terrain. In the ambush, one constable of 3rd IRB sustained bullet injury. Following the ambush, security has been beefed up along the route. Additional troops have also been reinforced and search operations to have been conducted at various places. According to reports, the ambush might have been carried out to sabotage the deputy chief minister`s flag hoisting function. Meanwhile, Manipur Congress unit president T N Haokip today accused BJP of "trying to destabilise" his party's government in the state by "engineering defection of the party MLAs". Haokip also alleged that BJP had "instigated" United Naga Council (UNC) to launch an economic blockade to create unrest in the state which was their "plan B" to topple the Ibobi Singh government.
"After coming to power in Delhi, the BJP has been trying to destabilise Congress governments in the northeast by poaching on party MLAs. They tried the same trick here too. Their plan was to destabilise our government by attempting mass defection of our MLAs", the Congress leader told newspersons here. Haokip, a sitting MLA from Saikot, alleged that BJP leaders were in touch with several Congress MLAs in the state. "They were in touch with more than 20 of our MLAs. They tried to lure them with the promise of ministership and other things. But the BJP could manage to take only six of our leaders and MLAs," he said. The BJP has fielded all six of them former ministers N Biren Singh, Yumkham Erabot Singh and Francis Ngajokpa, and MLAs Dr Kh Loken, Z Kikhonbou Newmai and Nemcha Kipgen in the Assembly elections.
N Biren Singh, a newspaper editor-turned-politician, is now a BJP spokesman. Haokip alleged that after BJP failed to engineer mass defection from Congress, they hatched a "plan B" with the UNC to impose an economic blockade in the state. "The BJP along with the UNC had engineered economic blockade. Their plan was to create unrest and turmoil so that President s rule is imposed in the state. But they failed in this plan too as people understood their gameplan," he said.