Cocomi seeks explanation on viral video of Kuki militants overpowering Indian army at Moreh

Imphal: The Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (Cocomi) sent a letter to the chief of army staff, General Manoj Pande on Saturday seeking an explanation regarding the recent disturbing video of Kuki militants overpowering the Indian Army deployed in Moreh on January 17.

The letter signed by the Cocomi coordinator Somerendro Thokchom mentioned that a video surfaced on social media that went viral showed the involvement of the Chin-Kuki narco-terrorists overpowering the Indian Army in the border town of Moreh, Manipur on January 17.

“In the history of the Indian Army, such visuals of our brave soldiers being openly threatened with guns, rocket launchers, and other weapons have never been witnessed before. This incident not only undermines the integrity and authority of the armed forces but also poses a significant threat to national security”.

The letter requested the chief of army staff to conduct a thorough investigation to determine how such an incident occurred or is it that the army was advised or instructed by the Government of India to maintain restraint while confronting armed Kuki militants as they have been working with the Indian Army since the execution of the Suspension of Operation (SoO) since 2005.

“We also wanted you to identify any lapses in security measures that may have allowed it to happen. As such attitude towards an unregulated armed groups giving enough time to take their position in the confrontation could have kept the Army personnel’s life in danger. Moreover, it is imperative that appropriate steps are taken to ensure that our forces are equipped with the necessary resources and support to effectively counter such threats in the future. The safety and morale of our brave soldiers should be our highest priority.”

The letter also highlighted the state and central forces that were killed by the Kuki militants during the ongoing crisis.

On May 16 last year, Assam Rifle Jawan Alok Rao was killed by Kuki militants at Dolaithabi, Imphal East, and Saikul Border area. On the next month June 5, BSF Jawan Ranjit Yadav lost his life in an attack by Kuki militants from the Churachandpur side at Serou area in Kakching District. On October 31 last year, Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) of Moreh Sub-Division, Tengnoupal District, Chingtham Anand was killed by an Armed Kuki Group. On 17 January, state police personnel Takhellambam Saileshor Wangkhem Somorjit were killed by armed Kuki groups at Moreh Border Town and on the same day, three BSF Jawans namely Gourav Kumar, Sobram Singh and Ramji were seriously injured in an open attack by Kuki groups in broad daylight at Moreh.

One more BSF Jawan got bullet injuries from the bullets of Kuki Militants at Sugnu, under Kakching District recently on early morning of February 17.

It said this incident represents an alarming departure from historical precedent, where never before has the Indian Army been so openly overpowered by armed groups, compelling them to retreat from their deployment area, with no visible retaliation against the open attacks carried out by Kuki Militants injuring and killing several Indian army personnel.

Immediate attention and action are imperative to address this distressing situation. A thorough investigation is indispensable to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the incident and identify any security lapses including possible advisories from the government in New Delhi. Equally crucial is the implementation of measures to equip our forces adequately and provide them with the necessary support to effectively counter such threats in coordination with the state police forces in the future.

“These incidents underscore the urgent need for action to ensure the safety and security of both our soldiers and civilians,” the letter said.

“I urge you to personally intervene, oversee a comprehensive investigation, and take prompt action to rectify this situation. The current criticism faced by the Indian Army in the region, compounded by the perceived indifference in the Assam Rifles’ handling of the situation, demands urgent attention. Our armed forces have long been a source of pride and strength for the nation, and it is imperative to safeguard their reputation.”

“The people of Manipur place their complete trust in the chief of army staff and people are confident that the matter will be taken seriously. It is crucial to safeguard the integrity and honour of the Indian Army, as well as guarantee the safety and security of the indigenous people in Manipur, especially in vulnerable areas like Moreh and other parts along the Indo-Myanmar border,” it added.

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