Manipur: Video surfaces showing armed miscreants pushing back Assam Rifles convoy in Moreh

Manipur: Video surfaces showing armed miscreants pushing back Assam Rifles convoy in Moreh

A sensational video has come to the fore that has depicted an alleged standoff between the convoy of the 5 Assam Rifles and armed miscreants amidst a troubled situation in Manipur's border town Moreh. 

The incident reportedly took place on January 17 at T. Yangnom where armed miscreants belonging to the Kuki community could be seen blocking the path of a convoy of the 5 Assam Rifles and brandishing weapons at the convoy with making a retreat from the spot, raising questions on the handling of the situation by the security forces. 

The convoy had been headed to a spot where armed miscreants had ambushed security personnel in Moreh on January 17, which resulted in the death of two cops and two other security personnel getting injured. The convoy, reported to consist of three casper vehicles was on the way to the spot of ambush, when they were stopped on the way by a group of armed miscreants brandishing weapons at them.

According to reliable sources, the confrontation erupted around 10-11 am with an exchange of fire between volunteers and the Assam Rifles. The situation intensified when the commanding officer of the Assam Rifles allegedly ordered firing at the miscreants leading to chaos and panic among the villagers.

The video, which has since then gone viral, shows armed miscreants surrounding the convoy of security forces and taking aim with their automatic rifles. A couple of the armed miscreants could be seen holding grenades in their hands and were even brandishing them in a gesture of throwing them towards the vehicles. 

Even more shocking was that a group of armed miscreants, towards the back of the convoy, set up a rocket launcher and loaded a mortar onto it, producing panic among the security personnel in the vehicles as could be heard from the audio in the video. 

The army personnel could be heard making repeated appeals to the armed miscreants to give way to vehicle so it could pass through. One security personnel could be heard making repeated appeals to the armed miscreants not to point their arms towards the vehicles. The voice of a few women officers could also be heard talking inside the vehicle during the course of the video. 

Also in the video, the audio of the security personnel talking to his commanding officer could be heard where he was giving the information that there were more than 35 personnel in the convoy, which has been decoded to 3 officers, 3 JCOs and 37 other ranks and 3 casper vehciles.

Also from the audio which could be heard in the video, the security personnel could be heard telling his superior over the wireless that atleast 25-30 armed miscreants had gathered at the place while blocking their path and brandishing arms at them. 

Now from the video which has gone viral, it is quite evident that the convoy of 5th Assam Rifles decided to withdraw from the spot instead of moving ahead or confronting the armed miscreants who had blocked their path. This has now raised questions on the handling of the security personnel of the entire situation with the withdrawal being evident in the video as the vehicles can clearly be seen moving backwards down the road with the armed miscreants positioning their guns at them all the time. 

According to a reliable source, who spoke on condition of anonymity to India Today NE, the Assam Rifles engaged in a standoff with the armed miscreants even as they attempted to manage the escalating tension in the village. The source said that while being outnumbered by the armed miscreants, the Assam Rifles chose to withdraw from the scene which raises questions about their response protocol. 

The source stated to India Today NE that such behavior has put a question mark as withdrawal is not considered an option for the forces. From the video, the vehicles could be seen withdrawing and moving backwards which is quite opposite to what would be considered to be a soldier's conduct. 

However, it has also been pointed out by the source that complete assumptions cannot be made based on one single video. It was pointed out that since the video was shot from inside the vehicle, and it is not yet clear as to what was the actual situation on the outside and what actually forced the security personnel to make a withdrawal from the spot. 

Also questions are arising as to how did this video go viral? Since the video was shot from inside one of the vehicles which were stopped by the armed miscreants, it is but evident that only an Assam Rifles personnel could have shot it. Also during the course of the video, the conversations among the personnel in the car, one could be heard asking his colleague if he was shooting a video, to which the latter replied in the affirmative. Now this has raised questions as to who could have leaked the video and spread it?

Meanwhile, India Today NE reached out to Assam Rifles Director General Lieutenant General Pradeep Chandran Nair, who said that they are aware of the video and that they are currently looking into it.