Manipur: One Junior Commanding Officer (JCO) and five jawans of the 29 Assam Rifles were martyred on Sunday in an ambush which took place in Chandel district near the Indian north-eastern state Manipur.
The ambush is believed to have been carried out by militants in the north-eastern region. Chandel district is the same place where 18 jawans were ambushed last year.
Occuring near the Myanmar border, the militants were heavily armed during the assault. The Assam Rifles comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), but operates under the Indian army.
Manipur’s Chandel district is the same area where army’s Dogra regiment lost 18 men last June. Attack was claimed by NSCN Khaplang; the forces lost a Para Special Forces officer Major Amit Deswal in Manipur, in April.
Minister of Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh, expressed condolences for the deceased soldiers on Twitter: “Extremely pained to learn of the killing of Assam Rifles’ JCO and jawans in Manipur. My condolences to the families of the deceased soldiers.”
Rajnath Singh added that he had spoken to the Director General of Assam Rifles to apprise himself of the situation in Manipur. He further added that the MHA is closely monitoring and reviewing the situation in the state.
In the encounter with insurgents in Chandel Distt in South Manipur on 22 May 16, the martyrs are Subedar BK Sharma from Himachal Pradesh, Hav Surjeet Barla from Jharkhand, Rifleman Mahesh Gurung from Uttrakhand, Rifleman AK Pandey from Bihar, Rifleman Pawan Kumar from J&K and Rifleman Bhupinder Singh from Himachal Pradesh. The mortal remains of the martyrs are being taken to their home towns by a team of Assam Rifles personnel.
Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi, Army Commander Eastern Command has expressed his deep condolences to the families of the brave martyrs. He said, “The nation owes gratitude to the ultimate sacrifice made by the Assam Rifles personnel like them in the fight against insurgents. We in the army are committed to provide all necessary support to their families in this hour of grief.” He stated that such acts of violence by insurgents reinforces our resolve to carry out relentless operations against such anti-national elements for furtherance of peace in the region.
(Further details awaited. . .)