On the inaugural day of 2024, Manipur's Thoubal district witnessed a tragic episode, claiming the lives of four individuals with 14 others sustaining injuries. The outbreak of violence prompted authorities across Thoubal, Imphal East, Imphal West, Kakching, and Bishnupur districts to revoke the curfew relaxation, reinstating prohibitory orders to quell potential unrest.
Expressing concern, state Chief Minister N Biren Singh, through a video message, appealed for peace, urging citizens not to take matters into their own hands. Singh assured swift action against the assailants, condemning the attack and emphasizing the enforcement of justice within the confines of the law.
The incident transpired in Lilong Chingjao, where armed individuals, reportedly clad in police uniforms and wielding sophisticated weapons, fired upon people amid a dispute over coercive collections. Allegedly arriving in four vehicles, the attackers targeted a locality resident for extortion, leading to a confrontation. Subsequently, locals pursued the assailants, who opened fire while attempting to escape.
The casualties included three immediate fatalities, with another succumbing to injuries en route to the hospital. The wounded, many in critical condition, have been relocated to medical facilities. The identities of the perpetrators remain undisclosed, and the situation escalated as enraged residents set fire to the attackers' vehicles.
Responding to the volatile situation, additional Central and state forces were dispatched to Thoubal district and neighboring areas to prevent potential retaliatory attacks. Tensions also surfaced in the state capital, Imphal, following this latest bout of violence. Lilong constituency MLA Abdul Nasir received updates from concerned officials, assuring that the culprits would be apprehended promptly.