TODAY -
Assam Rifles slays seven amid contradictory claims
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 01 2009: The Assam Rifles claimed to have gunned down seven suspected underground cadres at Andro Sanapat area even though family members of some of the victims alleged the killing was a stage managed execution.

PRO IGAR (S) said in a statement that on getting information about presence of UG cadres in Andro Sanapat area, troops of 28 Assam Rifles launched cordon and search operation during which an encounter ensued between the AR columns and about 10-15 heavily armed UG suspects at around 11 pm of October 31 .

While seven persons, including atleast one area/district commander, were slain on the spot, the rest of the armed group managed to get away under cover of heavy and indiscriminate firing coupled with cover of darkness, said the PRO release.



The bodies and the guns


Bodies of the seven slain and recovered weapons and ammunition have been handed over to Yairipok police station at 5 am today, it added.

The recovered items included two AK 47 rifles (folded butt) with two magazines, one 7.62 mm US made rifle with magazine, three 9 mm pistols with magazine, one .32 pistol with magazine, one RPG round with booster charge, three lethod bomb, one Chinese grenade, one Indian hand-grenade, 27 rounds of AK series rifle, four M16 rounds, 43 G-3 rounds, 13 rounds of 9 mm pistol, six .32 rounds, one Kenwood radio set, 400 gm PEK, 1 kg TNT powder, 9 metres of detonating cord, one primer, 5 metre safety fuse, 70 metre electric wire, 149 fired cartridges of AK series rifle, 104 G-3 fired cases, 82 M16 cases and 16 cartridges of 9 mm pistol.

When newspersons approached post commander of Andro based 28 Assam Rifles, Commandant Rana said information about presence of armed activists in and around Andro hill range was received based on which troops of the AR unit took positions at strategic locations.

At about 11.30 pm yesterday, the troops observed movement of heavily armed persons at Andro Sanapat area subsequently resulting in a fierce gun-fight that ceased at around 2.30 am today, the commandant maintained.

Among the deceased seven, four were clad in camouflage combat uniforms with one attired in civilian clothes.

Inspector General of Assam Rifles (south) Maj Gen AK Choudhary arrived at the Andro post to inspect the weapons and other items seized from the possession of the slain UG suspects.

out of the seven slain, identities of two have been established as Oinam Girani alias Anand (21) s/o O Yaima of Ishikha Mayai Leikai and Oinam Maipaksana alias Pakpa (20) s/o O Bhima.

Girani and Maipaksana are cousins, according to family members.

The family members told newspersons at RIMS morgue that both Girani and Maipaksana were picked up from their houses on October 22 night by some unidentified persons.

Speculating that the persons involved in hauling up the cousins might be security force personnel in civilian clothes, they recounted that the abductors came in white coloured Maruti van and a gypsy.

Further confiding that apart from a complaint lodged at the office of Imphal East district SP to trace whereabouts of the two efforts were also on to get a clue on the two along with the Khundrakpam AC MLA Th Lokeshore, they conceded that on getting information about the Andro Sanapat killing inquiry was made at the RIMS morgue where two of the victims were found to Girani and Maipaksana.

Asserting that dress worn by Girani at the time of his abduction is different from the one his body was clad today, they also said the green T-shirt of Maipak-sana was found with a camouflage uniform on top.

The family members also claimed that at the time of his abduction Maipaksana wore a white half pant with a chappal only for the body to be changed with camouflage trousers and hunting boots.

Reacting to claims of the Assam Rifles authorities of both being slain in the encounter, they voiced strong suspicion of foul play with particular reference to the changes in their attires.

Alleging that both Maipaksana and Girani were yet another victims of fake encounter, the family members affirmed the bodies would not be claimed and various protest movements would be launched.

Mention may be made that some days back Ishikha area had witnessed protest demonstrations against the abduction of the two men as well as to appeal for their safe and sound release.


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