An Assam Rifles Colonel, his wife and eight-year-old son, and four soldiers were killed in an ambush by terrorists near the border with Myanmar in Manipur. The terror attack – one of the deadliest in the region in recent times – took place at 11 am in Manipur’s Churachandpur district.
The Commanding Officer of 46 Assam Rifles, Colonel Viplav Tripathi, had gone to a forward camp on Saturday and was returning when his convoy was ambushed.
“Five soldiers including Colonel Viplav Tripathi, Commanding Officer of 46 Assam Rifles, have made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. The family of the Commanding Officer – wife and child – also lost their lives. DG and all ranks of Assam Rifles offer condolences to the brave soldiers and families,” the Assam Rifles said in a statement.
Manipur-based terrorist group People’s Liberation Army, or PLA, is believed to be behind the attack, though no group has claimed responsibility yet, sources have said.
This is the first time that civilians have died in an ambush in this remote area of the district. The location is an extremely remote village around 50 km from Churachandpur.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh condemned the attack and gave his condolences. “The cowardly attack on an Assam Rifles convoy in Churachandpur, Manipur is extremely painful and condemnable. The nation has lost 5 brave soldiers including CO 46 AR and two family members. My condolences to the bereaved families. The perpetrators will be brought to justice soon,” Mr Singh tweeted.
The cowardly attack on an Assam Rifles convoy in Churachandpur, Manipur is extremely painful & condemnable. The nation has lost 5 brave soldiers including CO 46 AR and two family members.
My condolences to the bereaved families. The perpetrators will be brought to justice soon.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) November 13, 2021
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh tweeted a counter-operation has been launched to track down the terrorists.
Strongly condemn the cowardly attack on a convoy of 46 AR which has reportedly killed few personnel including the CO & his family at CCpur today. The State forces & Para military are already on their job to track down the militants. The perpetrators will be brought to justice.
— N.Biren Singh (@NBirenSingh) November 13, 2021
Manipur, like many of the north-eastern states, is home to several armed groups, fighting for either greater autonomy or secession. For decades, the Army has been deployed to the area that has borders with China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
In 2015, 20 soldiers were killed in an attack by terrorists in Manipur, after which the Army launched a surgical strike on their camp.
The Assam Rifles is a paramilitary force that operates under the Army’s control and is used mainly for counter-insurgency operations in the northeast. It acts as an interventionist force of the central government for internal security when the situation goes beyond the control of central paramilitary operations.