Villagers fail to trust central forces protection against Kuki rebels attack, borbid BSF deployment

Imphal: The villagers of Ishing Thembi and Sanjen Lok in Imphal East have expressed their lack of trust in the central forces, and forbid BSF personnel to enter in the villages.

People of these two villages have been under rapid and relentless attacks by Kuki rebels as the nearby foothills have been transformed into a stronghold for the militants, with numerous bunkers constructed.

The villagers demanded deployment of state forces at the foothills to protect them.

Contrary to the local pleas, the government took the decision to send the central force BSF to secure the area. However, the BSF personnel were strongly opposed. Large number of women from the surrounding villages blocked their entry in front of the Ishikha Police Outpost, Imphal East district.

Consequently, the team was currently stationed at the Sagolmang police station waiting further instructions.

A local Meira Paibi leader, S. Ibemcha, talking to reporters about the precarious situation, highlighted the vulnerability of Ishing Thembi and Sanjen Lok, emphasising that the absence of security in the area has made them easy targets for Kuki militants.

The villages have been gripped by terror and suffering since the crisis began more than two months ago, she said.

Local authorities have been approached urging them to deploy state forces to protect the villagers. However, the deployment of central forces in the area contradicted these demand, she added.

Expressing their loss of hope in the central forces, Ibemcha said the locals do not want their presence and instead seek the protection by state forces.

The Meira Paibi leader lamented the silence and failure of the local MLA to visit the vulnerable zone despite the ongoing suffering endured by his people over the past two months.

The situation remains tense as the villagers’ plea for state forces goes unheeded, and the central forces remain halted at the Sagolmang police station.

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