New Delhi: People’s Liberation Army Manipur and the Manipur Naga People’s Front (MNPF) have claimed responsibility for the ambush that killed seven people including the Commanding Officer of an Assam Rifles unit on Saturday (November 13). 

In a joint statement, the two proscribed militant organisations claimed they carried out the attack on the paramilitary force at Sehkan village in Churachandpur district. 

Earlier today, the Commanding Officer (CO) of 46 Assam Rifles Colonel Viplav Tripathi, his wife and 8-year-old son and four soldiers were killed in an attack by militants near the India-Myanmar border in Manipur. 

Tripathi’s convoy was ambushed at Sehkan village in Churachandpur district in a fresh eruption of militant violence in the state. 

There were blasts from Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) before the Assam Rifles personnel engaged the militants in a gunfight, PTI reported. Besides 7 people who were killed including CO Tripathi, four other soldiers were injured in the attack that took place around 10 am on Saturday near S Sehken village under Behiang police station, the Indian Army informed. 

“Five soldiers including Col Viplav Tripathi Commanding Officer of 46 Assam Rifles have made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty,” the official statement of Director General, Assam Rifles said, as per ANI. 

PM Modi, President Kovind condemn the brutal attack

Condemning the attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the sacrifices of the soldiers and their families will never be forgotten. “I pay homage to those soldiers and family members who have been martyred today. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of sadness,” he tweeted. 

 President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday said the attack on the Assam Rifles convoy in Manipur deserves unreserved condemnation and that the nation stands united with the bereaved families. “The attack on the Assam Rifles convoy that led to martyrdom of our soldiers and family members in Manipur deserves unreserved condemnation. This cowardly act reaffirms our resolve to root out terror in all its forms and manifestations. We stand united with the bereaved families,” Kovind said in a tweet. 

Vice President  M Venkaiah Naidu wrote on Twitter, “Deeply anguished by the martyrdom of five brave soldiers of Assam Rifles, including a Commanding Officer and two of his family members in Manipur today. My condolences to the bereaved family members. Strongly condemn this heinous act of terrorism.” 

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the sacrifices of the brave soldiers will not go in vain. “Anguished over a cowardly attack on Assam Riffles convoy in Manipur. I express my deepest condolences to the bereaved families. The entire nation stands firmly with our valiant security forces. The sacrifices of our brave soldiers will not go in vain,” he tweeted. 

Opposition consoles deaths

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi slammed the Modi government over the terror attack in Manipur, alleging the incident “once again proves” that it is incapable of protecting the nation. “The terrorist attack on the army convoy in Manipur once again proves that the Modi government is not capable of protecting the nation. My condolences to the martyrs and condolences to their families. The nation will remember your sacrifice,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the attack and tweeted, “I strongly condemn the dastardly attack by militants on a convoy of 46 Assam Rifles in Manipur. It pains me to learn that we have lost five brave soldiers, including the CO and his family members. Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. The entire nation awaits justice!” 

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik strongly condemned the “dastardly” militant attack on Assam Rifles personnel. “Strongly condemn the dastardly attack on Assam Rifles convoy in Manipur. My condolences for the bereaved families of the bravehearts and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured,” he said. 

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