Manipur: Gun battle breaks out among village volunteers of rival groups

Representational photo. (IANS Photo)

Representational photo. (IANS Photo)

Imphal, April 28 (IANS): Heavy exchange of fire between village volunteers of the two rival communities has been reported in Manipur’s Imphal West district on Sunday, police said.

Police said that several armed cadres of village volunteers opened indiscriminate fire on Koutruk village in the periphery of Imphal Valley from the adjoining hills in Kangpokpi district, and the armed village volunteers of rival ethnic groups retaliated.

Due to the gunbattle, villagers including women, children and elderly persons fled to safer places.

Country-made mortar shells known as 'Pumpi' are also used in the firing and caused panic among residents, a police official said.

Some of the shells reportedly pierced walls of the homes of the villagers.

A huge contingent of combined Central and state security forces have rushed to the area to bring the situation under control.

There is no report of any casualty or injury in the incident yet.

Sunday’s gunfight occurred within 24 hours after two Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, including a sub-inspector, were killed while two others were injured after armed groups attacked a camp of security forces in Bishnupur district, early on Saturday.

On April 24, a vital bridge on National Highway-2 in Manipur's Kangpokpi district was badly damaged in IED blast, disrupting the movement of traffic between Manipur and the rest of the country via Nagaland.