Assam Rifles refuted media reports dated July 25 of allegedly assaulting locals of Awang Wabagai in Leikinthabi Nongpol Ningtho Hill on July 23, 2023.
Strongly condemning the report published in E-pao, a local daily in Manipur, Assam Rifles refuted the claims that they allegedly tortured two Meitei persons belonging to Awang Wabagai.
As per Assam Rifles, on 19 July 2023, due to continuous firing by armed miscreants towards the Phaileng Ridge, a Joint team of Assam Rifle columns along with CRPF and KPI Police were deployed to the North of Ningthou Hill.
On seeing the security forces, the armed miscreants fired effectively with automatic weapons on the security forces, which was responded in a calibrated manner with controlled fire, in self defense and for the protection of civilians in the area, according to a statement by Assam Rifles.
Similar firing was carried out by the armed miscreants on following two days 20 & 21 July 2023 after which the armed miscreants fled the area. On 21 July 2023, when the joint team of Assam Rifles and KPI Police carried out the search of the area, total 15 bunkers and fired cases of lathode, two inch mortars and AK-47s were recovered. Photos of recovered fired cases from Ningthou Hill are enclosed, stated Assam Rifles.
On the afternoon of 22 Jul 23, a search was carried out in Ningthou Hill area following which an aerial surveillance of the area was conducted. The security personnel then discovered one truck and four-wheeler parked on the track leading to Ningthou Hill area from Awang Leikinthabi.
Assam Rifles personnel proceeded to check the two vehicles. While moving to the area, two persons on a motorbike were found on the track near the vehicles.
When enquired, it was learnt that they had come to retrieve the two vehicles which were likely used by the armed miscreants.
Both persons were asked to prove their identity. Imphal West police was contacted in this regard. Subsequently, on confirmation by Imphal West SP, a police party along with the CRPF team came to pick them up. They were handed over to the police party. One of the person rode the motorbike and other person alleged to have brain injuries, drove the four wheeler back to the village.
Photos and videos were taken during handing over of the persons to maintain record as per procedure.
Assam Rifles in their statement said, “No harm was done to either of the two persons as alleged in the news article. Also, there are no admissions by the name of Ningthoujan Romeson and Pukhrambam in Raj Medicity Hospital, Imphal as alleged in the news article of E pao”.
“The issue of Salai Teret flag is also absolutely false and baseless. The Salai Teret flag was requested and obtained from the local Meira Paibis during interaction with them after the firing incident of 21 Jul 2023 and raised with due respect on the Ningthou Hill. Photos are enclosed. Assam Rifles express deep concerns over the unverified and baseless reports by E Pao regarding assaulting two locals of Awang Wabagai and disrepect to the Salai Terat Flag”, added the press statement by Assam Rifles.
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