IMPHAL, April 14: A civilian and an army major of the special forces were killed in reported encounters between the special forces and suspected Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) militants during the past three days near Lengluang village under Tamenglong district.
According to reports, the encounter site lies around 30-km west from Nungba Police Station.
On April 11 around 5pm a civilian was reportedly killed in cross firing between the special forces and ZUF suspects near Irang river at the vicinity of the Lenglual village.
The victim has been identified as one Lalchuailo Neishial, 24, son of the chief of Lenglual village.
It is learnt that on the fateful day armed cadres of ZUF numbering around six entered the village and forcefully took away the victim along with another villagers (boy) Soithangzo Gangte, 17, son of Kaikholian Gangte as a guide.
The team (ZUF and civilians) was then reportedly waylaid by special forces (Rashtriya Rifles) and an encounter ensured leaving Lalchuailo death while Soithangzo made a lucky escape, said the reports.
Reports further said that soon after the incident a massive search operation was conducted in and around the encounter site for two consecutive days and during it recovered another body of an armyman today who later was identified as Major 21 Para Special Forces, Amit Deswal, 32, son of Rishi Deswal (Subedar Retired) of Jhajjar, Haryana. He was reportedly airlifted to Leimakhong.
The body of Lalchuailo was also retrieved today by a team of Nungba police and later deposited at JNIMS.
According to an official from the Army Defence Wing, the individual killed in the encounter was a suspect of ZUF.
He further said that an AK rifle along with a magazine was recovered from the deceased.
The source contended that a series of operations have been launched at the areas since the past few days following reports of activities of UG suspects at the general area of Lengluang.
On April 11 the forces (army) encountered militant cadres resulting in a massive exchange of fire fight between both sides as a result killing militant suspect.
The following day Major Amit Deswal, sustained bullet injury yet continue to fight on and later succumbed to his injury yesterday, continue the official source.
“The Major upheld the ethos of Indian Army by putting self before Nation”, said the official source.
Meanwhile, the mortal remains of Major Amit Deswal was brought to 12 Bihar Regiment battalion situated within the Tulihal Airport complex, Imphal before departing to his native place, where full honour was given to the late Major.
A wreath laying ceremony was also held while honouring the deceased Major led by Chief Minister Okram Singh.
The wreath laying ceremony was also attended by Subedar retired Rishi Deswal, father of late Majour Amit Deswal, Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam, GOC 3 CORPS, Lt. Gen. Abhey Krishna (AVSM, SM, VSM), GOC 57 Mountain Division, Maj Gen. SS Mishra (VSM), Maj Gen., IGAR (S) VS Srinivas (VSM), DGP Manipur LM Khaute, IG L Kailun, top officials of Paramilitary forces, bureaucrats and repsentative of the Governor of Manipur.