Casualties include a Territorial Army Major, 3 ULFA cadres and one civilian
Morung Express News
Mon | June 7
Five people were killed in an encounter between a combined group of ULFA (I) and NSCN (K) cadres and the 164 Territorial Army and 12 para commando unit in a location between Lapa Lampong and Lapa village under Tizit sub division of Mon District. The encounter occurred on Tuesday night at around 10:30pm.
The incident took place after the security forces received information on presence of the ULFA cadres in the area and began a combing operation. OC, Tizit police station said the police received information from nearby villages of hearing gun fire, after which police went to investigate. However, upon reaching the place, the OC said the police were not allowed to enter the operation area by security forces. Only the next morning, the bodies of four people were handed over to the police, the OC informed.
Police sources said suspected ULFA cadres were reportedly moving in two auto rickshaws when the security forces gave chase. In the ensuring exchange of fire, four occupants of the rear auto rickshaw were killed while the other auto rickshaw along with its occupants managed to escape in the cover of darkness.
Casualties during the encounter include a Major from the 164 TA (Naga), three ULFA cadres and reportedly a civilian. The deceased officer has been confirmed as Major David Manlun of the Naga Territorial Army (NTA).
Three commandos of the elite 12 Para commando unit were also reported to have been injured in the gun battle and were evacuated to a military hospital in Jorhat, Assam.
Kohima-based Defense PRO Colonel Chiranjeet Konwer told IANS that the “militants hurled a grenade and fired at the operational team that led to heavy exchange of fire and subsequent deaths.”
Mon Police identified the killed ULFA cadres as Bhonenpro, Bipul Asom and Dikram Konwar. The civilian, who was with the ULFA cadres during the incident, was identified as Rajendra Gupta, an auto rickshaw driver.
Police said arms and ammunition recovered from the ULFA cadres include AK47, two M69, 271 round of 7.62mm ammunition 5.6mm and 2 grenades.
Following the incident, situation was reported to be tense in Tizit area with people staying indoors out of fear, even as security forces continued their combing operation. DGP Nagaland LL Doungel said the Mon SP has been coordinating with the Assam Rifles on the state of affairs and assured that the situation was under control.
PRO IGAR North, Kohima in a separate press statement said security forces under the aegis of HQ IGAR (North) “eliminated three hardcore underground cadres of a joint group of NSCN (K) and ULFA (I) in general area of Tizit, Mon district of Nagaland.”
According to the press statement, the incident occurred on June 6 evening when security forces based on an input launched an operation. The security forces were in the process of establishing a mobile check post when the “armed terrorists travelling in an auto rickshaw sped past and on being pursued opened fire on security forces.” In the ensuing firefight which took place on a pitch dark night three terrorists were neutralized and the auto rickshaw driver also succumbed, it stated.
While confirming Major David Manlun’s death, the PRO informed that three jawans also sustained splinter injuries, but are now in stable condition. Operations are in progress, the statement further informed.
Major Manlun’s body was flown to Shillong where it was received by Army officers and family members at the Gorkha Training Centre helipad.