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Indian Army Releases 12 Militants after Being Surrounded by Mob of 1200 in Manipur

Following a standoff between a female-led mob and security forces who had cordoned off Itham village in Imphal East, where a dozen members of the militant group KYKL were hiding,...

Following a standoff between a female-led mob and security forces who had cordoned off Itham village in Imphal East, where a dozen members of the militant group KYKL were hiding, the Army made “a mature decision” to not risk civilian lives and left with seized weapons and ammunition, officials said on Sunday.

Indian Army Releases 12 Militants after Being Surrounded by Mob of 1200 in Manipur
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Indian Army Releases 12 Militants

According to them, the Meitei militant group Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) was involved in a series of incidents, including the ambush of a 6 Dogra unit in 2015. The standoff in Itham lasted all day Saturday and was terminated by a “mature decision by the operational commander keeping in mind the sensitivity of using kinetic force against a large irate mob led by women and the likely casualties as a result of such action.”

Also read: Understanding Manipur: Why Is The State Burning?

Indian Army Releases 12 Militants after Being Surrounded by Mob of 1200 in Manipur 2

Among those holed up in the village was self-styled Lt Col Moirangthem Tamba alias Uttam, a wanted terrorist suspected of masterminding the Dogra ambush, according to officials. According to them, a 1,500-strong mob of women surrounded the Army column and blocked forces from proceeding with the operation. “Repeated appeals to the aggressive mob to allow the security forces to carry out their operations in accordance with the law yielded no positive results,” officials stated.

Location map of study site in Manipur

The Army decided to evacuate to “avoid any collateral damage during the ongoing unrest in Manipur.” So far, more than 100 people have been killed in an ethnic conflict in the northeastern state between the Meitei and Kuki clans.

Clashes erupted on May 3 during a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ in the hill areas to protest the Meitei community’s desire for Scheduled Tribe (ST) designation. Clashes erupted on May 3 during a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ in the hill areas to protest the Meitei community’s desire for Scheduled Tribe (ST) designation.

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