IMPHAL, May 24: Even as the Kuki Inpi-Saikul Gamkhai claimed that the May 23 encounter at Hengjang Village which killed village church secretary Paolen Khongsai was a fake encounter, the PRO IGAR (S) issued a press release claiming that Poulin Khongsai of Hingojan, Senapati district was killed in an encounter.
Three individuals were killed in the encounter while another one was arrested, according to the statement.
The statement also said that the three dead were identified by the villagers as Nameirakpam Rajen Singh of MNRF (Alan), son of N Mohindro Singh, of Sunusiphai Awang Leikai, Bishnupur district, s/s Sgt Phakuiring Khongyo alias Akhui of MNRF(Alan), of Pungpum Wanglee, Ukhrul district and Poulin Khongsai of KNF (Nehlun), of Hingojan, Senapati district.
According to the PRO IGAR (S) statement, a joint team of 11 PARA (SF) and 2 Assam Rifles of 9 Sector AR under the aegis of HQ IGAR (S) launched an operation in the general area of Hingojang Village based on information from reliable source about the presence of armed UG cadres in the area.
It said the joint team carried out surveillance for about 24 hours on May 22 `“ 23, during which the troops of 11 PARA (SF) observed eight to nine armed cadres in the vicinity of a building under construction.
`The cadres were carrying weapons, which were slung onto their bodies. The Surveillance detachment also observed three out of the nine cadres entering a house in village Hingojang` it said.
Further according to the statement, at approximately 9:40am of May 23, while the joint team was closing in towards the village, one armed UG cadre opened indiscriminate fire aimed at the Security Forces and he was killed.
At the same time rest of the cadres started running in different directions out of which two cadres fired and ran towards the personnel of the joint team where they were killed immediately, it said.
Some cadres who ran in different directions managed to escape and were not engaged by the joint team to avoid collateral damage, it claimed.
`When the joint team started closing in towards the UG cadres who had presumably been neutralised by own fire, the armed cadres located at the hill feature brought down heavy fire of automatic weapons including AK-47, M-16 and Lathode for approximately 30 – 40 minutes and pinned them down.`
`During this period some cadres went towards killed UG cadres, and were seen trying to drag their bodies, but were prevented from doing so due to effective yet controlled fire by the troops` according to the statement.
It continued later, a part of the joint team entered the village and the remaining team moved to the hill feature from where the UGs fired.
`During the ensuing search, the joint team found another cadre and apprehended him. He was carrying a bag in which two crude IEDs and several rounds of 7.62 MM Calibre were found.`
It further identified the arrested cadre as Army No 6, SS Sergeant Luhaban alias Apam of MNRF (Alan), son of S Ngachun, resident of Kasom Kunao, Ukhrul district.
The joint team reported the incident to Yairipok Police Station, it said.
Soon thereafter, SDPO Yairipok along with team of Yairipok Police Station and Thoubal Police Commandoes, led by inspector Anand reached the incident site, it continued.
The joint team collected some war like stores and weapons lying near the dead bodies and the hill feature from where the armed cadres had brought suppressive fire on the security forces, it said.
One 9 mm Bereta along with magazine, two 7.62 mm Pistol along with magazine, three IEDs, sixteen electric detonators, twenty eight 9 mm pistol rounds, twenty one 7.62 mm pistol rounds, one hundred and fifty six 7.62 mm AK 47 (live rounds), twenty one 5.56 mm M-16 (live rounds), twenty three fired case 7.62 mm AK 47, fifteen fired case 5.56 mm M 16 and seven fired case 40 mm of Lathod were recovered from the scene of action, it claimed.