IMPHAL, July 31: Four cadres of the Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) were killed in a skirmish with troops of the 13 Assam Rifles, early this morning at Luangkao village, Tamenglong district.
According to official sources, the incident took place around 4.35 this morning.
The encounter site is located around 67 km west of Nungba police station.
Sources disclosed that taking into account the frequent militant activities disturbing the ongoing railway project in the district; the Assam Rifles had intensified its operation in and around the area.
Subsequently, the AR team received information about the presence of armed militants at Luangkao village and rushed to the spot.
At the village, they encountered several well-armed militant cadres which led to a heavy exchange of fire continuing till around 8am, informed the source.
During the gun-fight, atleast four ZUF cadres were killed while an Assam Rifles jawan was injured.
A statement of the militant outfit has acknowledged that four of its cadres were killed in the encounter, which had left “three AR personnel dead” at the same time.
Meanwhile, sources said that the AR team also recovered arms and ammunitions from the site.
The recovered weapons include two M-16 assault rifles, one lethode gun along with 21 live shells, two hand grenades, one 9mm pistol (Beretta), assorted ammunitions.
The injured AR has been identified as one Jitender, 30, of Madhya Pradesh. He was injured in his left leg and has been evacuated to unit hospital Leimakhong.
The corpses of the cadres were on the way to JNIMS morgue, till the filing of this report.
The ZUF in a statement has identified its slained cadres as captain Gunagloungam Kamei, son of Damchuilung of Reanjang Village, Churachandpur district, sergeant Peter Panmei, son of Guikhammang Panmei of Phaong Village, Tamenglong, sergeant Thuankulung, son of Dingakrei of Luangkao Village, Tousem sub-division and lance corporal Jaojiankhuan, son of Ganglan of Karulong Village, Cachar district Assam.
Stating that the security forces provoked a section of its cadres stationed at Luangkao village, the statement claimed that three jawans of AR were killed, while one was seriously injured in the ensuing gun-fight.
The dead and injured jawans were taken away by the security ambulance for immediate medical attention from the encounter site, it continued.
It further said “The ZUF condoled and acknowledged the sincere and service rendered by our fallen comrades selflessly for the common aspiration of our people”.
Their contribution for the protection and survival of Zeliangrong people were countless deeds adding that they will be missed by their comrades and by multitudes, it said.
“We pray that may God grant them eternal life. We also share in deepest grief of the bereaved families and prayed to the almighty to give them strength to tide over the ‘irreparable losses,” it said.