IMPHAL, December 17: Suspected Kuki militants welcomed the Chief Minister with gun-shots during his tour of inaugurating the newly constructed Kangpokpi ADC office this noon.
The suspected militant cadres started their indiscriminate firing aimed towards the venue of the CM’s programme from the opposite hill range of Heijang on the eastern side, which is some six/seven kms away from the venue.
The firing started since about 11:30am just 30 minutes before the arrival of the Chief Minister and his team including revenue minister Th Debendro, works minister K Ranjit and two other local MLAs.
Meanwhile, a district administration insider on conditions of anonymity informed media persons that the hill range from where the gun shots originated falls under the operational area of the SoO signatory militant group, Kuki Revolutionary Army and it could be its cadres who were shooting indiscriminately.
Meanwhile it may be added that in connection with the high profile visit of the Chief Minister, there was a high security arrangement along the NH-39 starting from Imphal to Kangpokpi. Security forces including Assam Rifles were also present at the venue even before the arrival of the Chief Minister.
However none of the security forces including both state and central forces failed to make any attempt to retaliate or go after the militants even after identifying the spot of the provokers.
Minutes after the arrival of the Chief Minister, the firing stopped however there were some visible gun-shot marks on the wall newly inaugurated ADC building and the police recovered at least four projectiles suspected to be fired by the militant cadres from the venue of the inaugural function.
Meanwhile, as a part of security measure, the escort team of the Chief Minister used the CM’s bullet-proofed BMW as a barricade for the CM during the function.
Soon after the departure of the VVIPs from the venue, a reinforcement team of Imphal west district commandos and IRBs arrived and conducted an operation at the foothills of HieHeijang hill range and even fired several rounds towards hill range.
However by the time of the reinforcement team’s arrival, the militant groups had already managed to make good there escape.