Wednesday, 29 June, 2022
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Assam Rifles Commanding Officer, wife, son, 4 soldiers killed in ambush by militants in Manipur

The convoy of the 46 Assam Rifles Commandant Col Viplap Tripathi was ambushed while it was returning to the Battalion headquarters following a visit to a Company base in Behiang.

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New Delhi: The Commanding Officer of the 46 Assam Rifles, his wife, their 8-year-old son, and four soldiers were killed Saturday in an ambush by militants in the trouble-prone Churachandpur district of Manipur, close to the Indo-Myanmar border.

Four other soldiers were also seriously injured in the ambush, likely to have been carried out by Manipur-based militant group People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Sources told ThePrint that the convoy of the 46 Assam Rifles Commandant Colonel Viplap Tripathi was ambushed while it was returning to the Battalion headquarters following a visit Friday to a Company base in Behiang.

The attack took place around 11 am, Army sources said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack and said the sacrifice of the soldiers “will never be forgotten.”

“Strongly condemn the attack on the Assam Rifles convoy in Manipur. I pay homage to those soldiers and family members who have been martyred today. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of sadness,” the PM tweeted.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the “perpetrators will be brought to justice soon”.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh also condemned the attack.


Convoy hit by IED

Sources said the convoy was first hit with an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) targeting the vehicle in which Col Tripathi was traveling with his wife and son. The blast was followed by several minutes of burst fire by hiding militants, who are suspected to be what the Army terms as ‘Valley Based Insurgent Groups’.

Sources also said the Quick Reaction Team (QRT) which was part of the convoy was also hit but an exchange of fire did take place.

Three soldiers from the QRT were also killed in the attack.

Additional forces have been rushed to the spot and the security forces have launched an operation to track the militants.

Sources said that Col Tripathi had his unit had recently moved to Churachandpur from Mizoram where he was posted earlier.

This is for the first time in the recent past, that the family of a serving Army officer has been targeted in an attack, sources added.

Earlier this year, 46 Assam Rifles received Unit Citation from P.S. Sreedharan Pillai, who was then the governor of Mizoram, for their commendable performance during their employment across Saitual Mamit, Kolasib, Champhai and Aizawl districts of Mizoram from 17 April to 28 May 2021 before moving to Churachandpur.

(Edited by Neha Mahajan)

Also read: Army chief Naravane calls for renewed focus on Northeast amid ‘rising footprints of China’


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