New Delhi: Initial inputs suggest the attackers who struck an Assam Rifles convoy Saturday, killing five personnel and an officer’s wife and son, entered Manipur from Myanmar through the “porous border” and could have “infiltrated four kilometres into the Indian region”, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has said.
Speaking to ThePrint Saturday evening, Singh added that no one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
“As per the basic information, it seems like the terrorists who attacked the CO (commanding officer) of the Assam Rifles and his family, killing 7 persons, came from across the Myanmar border,” Singh said.
“Whether they went back to Myanmar or not is something we can’t confirm. Our focus is on taking care of the victims and ensuring the culprits are taken to task,” he added.
The ambush took place around 11 am in the Churachandpur district, close to the India-Myanmar border. Those killed include the Commanding Officer of 46 Assam Rifles, Col Viplav Tripathi, his wife, and their 8-year-old son. Four other soldiers were killed, and as many seriously injured.
The ambush marks a rare instance of security personnel’s family members coming under attack. It comes months before the state heads for assembly elections.
File photos of Colonel Viplav Tripathi, Commanding Officer of 46 Assam Rifles, his wife and 8-year-old son who lost their lives in a terrorist attack on a convoy of Assam Rifles in Churachandpur, Manipur today pic.twitter.com/g1sbXsEw0c
— ANI (@ANI) November 13, 2021
Sources told ThePrint that the Assam Rifles convoy was ambushed while it was returning to the Battalion headquarters following a visit to a company base in Behiang.
The chief minister condemned the attack as “cowardly”, saying the attackers will not be spared and a search operation has already been launched by the state and the central government.
A meeting, he added, has been called to discuss border security issues. It will be attended by Army, paramilitary and police personnel.
“This is a cowardly attack and I strongly condemn it. They have killed women and children… we will take strict action,” he said.
The chief minister said he visited Shija hospital, where one of the injured Assam Rifles personnel is admitted, and instructed them to “provide him with the best medical care”.
(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)