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Violence-hit Manipur: BSF jawan killed, 2 Assam Rifles troopers hurt in gun battle with suspected Kuki militants

A Border Security Force (BSF) trooper was killed, and two Assam Rifles personnel were injured during a confrontation with suspected Kuki militants in Manipur's Kakching district on Tuesday, according to officials.

Defence officials reported that a search operation was initiated in Serou, Kakching, on Monday night and extended into Tuesday morning. The combined security forces came under fire from the suspected Kuki militants.

BSF constable Ranjit Yadav, who sustained gunshot wounds, was taken to Jiban Hospital in Kakching but unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. The injured Assam Rifles personnel were evacuated to Mantripukhri in Imphal for medical treatment.

During the initial search operation, security forces recovered two AK series rifles, a 51mm mortar, two carbines, and a significant amount of ammunition and warlike stores from the area.

Sanitization operations are currently underway, and further details are anticipated.

This incident marks the second fatality among paramilitary personnel in the ongoing violence in Manipur.

The region has witnessed over 100 deaths and more than 320 injuries since the outbreak of ethnic strife on May 3.

On May 10, Assam Rifles rifleman Alok Rao sustained gunshot wounds during an operation in Manipur's Senapati district and later succumbed to his injuries at Command Hospital in Kolkata on May 17.

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, along with other senior officials, paid their respects to the deceased BSF jawan.

The BSF expressed their condolences and sorrow, tweeting: "Director General and all ranks of BSF salute the supreme sacrifice of Ct/GD Ranjit Yadav, 163 Bn BSF on 06 June 2023 while deployed at Serou Practical High School, PS Sugnu, Distt Kakching, Manipur. Ct/GD Ranjit Yadav displayed conspicuous bravery, a high degree of dedication & devotion to duty during the exchange of fire when suspected Kuki miscreants resorted to indiscriminate & heavy volume of firing towards BSF troops. Prahari Parivaar stands in solidarity with the bereaved family."

Meanwhile, a defense release stated that multiple incidents of violence, arson, and firing in Sugnu and Serou over the past 48 hours necessitated the redeployment of additional troops.

"Extensive area domination operations by the Assam Rifles, BSF, and Manipur Police were undertaken in the Sugnu and Serou areas. Intermittent firing between security forces and the insurgents took place throughout the night. Security forces effectively retaliated to the fire," the release stated.

The troops were assigned to strengthen ongoing extensive area domination operations, ambushes, and measures to prevent violence.

Security forces took necessary steps to prevent insurgents from evading capture and escaping to nearby areas.

Sugnu had relatively remained peaceful even after the outbreak of ethnic clashes in Manipur on Monday, May 3.

However, on June 2, heavily armed militants set fire to the residence of former minister and Congress MLA K. Ranjit, as well as several other houses.

All houses in Serou were completely destroyed by fire, and the affected residents sought refuge in Sugnu.

In response to the arson, local residents began attacking the camp of a Kuki militant group operating under the Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement.

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