Villagers refuse to return home

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IMPHAL, May 31: Following the clashes between the fighters of NSCN-IM and Zeliangrong United Front, villagers of Ijeirong and Oktan are still taking refuge in the neighbouring Haochong village, fearing a fresh eruption of clashes.

A fierce gunbattle was fought between the cadres of NSCN-IM and ZUF yesterday in the adjoining area of Ijeirong and Oktan in Tamenglong district, resulting in the loss of two cadres of ZUF while another cadre was injured.

All the residents of Ijeirong and Oktan fled their village and took refuge in the neibouring village of Haochong when the two rival insurgent groups engaged in a fighting which started around 6:15 am and continued till 12:30 pm yesterday.

The Ijeirong and Oktan villagers are taking refuge in Haochong village as they are still panicked over a possible fresh clash between the two sides.

Reports from Noney said the villagers are still taking shelter in Haochong as a number of cadres from NSCN-IM and ZUF are still loitering around the area where they fought yesterday.

Autopsy were conducted on the bodies of the two slain cadres at PHC Noney last night and later handed over to their families.

The militants killed in the gunbattle were identified as Felimon Remei, 25, son of Kaningdai Remei, a resident of Tousemjang village under Khoupum Police Station and Diluanthai Panmei, 19, son of Domchuilung Panmei of Tousnag Part-III (Painjang) under Khoupum Police Station.

A case was registered with the Noney Police Station. 

Tamenglong based Makam Post add: A Remroi, Joint Secretary, Zeliangrong United Front said, “Two  ZUF cadres, Diluanthai Panmei (17) S/o  Dimthuilung Taosang village and Philemon Riamei (24) S/o Kangdai of Taosemjaeng-Nungadang in Khoupum Valley of Tamenglong District laid down their lives for the sake of peace and security for the people, especially Zeliangrong, Inpui, Chiru, Kom and Kharam kindred tribes.

One of the attackers was also injured during the gunbattle, Remroi said and added that ZUF wishes the departed souls to rest in peace, calling them heroes.

ZUF also claimed that the militants who fled their camp were injured in the fighting.ZUF also expressed gratitude to all the frontal organizations, women activists, ZSULA & ZSUM and village authorities who helped to dispatch the martyrs who laid down their lives.

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