India: more clashes in Manipur and Chhattisgarh

Consequences of the armed clashes occurred in Kangchup, district of West Imphal. Source: The Hindu

During the last four days, there have been reports on new armed actions in the Indian States of Manipur and Chhattisgarh by groups facing the State, including the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), lead by the Communist Party of India (Maoist), party who is leading the People’s War in India. The actions has lead to casualties of armed forces, paramilitary forces and police forces in both States. We have reported on the ongoing struggles in the same areas.

The struggles in Manipur is as intensive as the past weeks. The death toll of the clashes, reached 98 dead and 310 injured people on Friday 2nd of June. Saturday 3rd of June, Kuldiep Singh, security advisor of the government of the federal State of Manipur, claimed that: “Peace is returning to the State and normalcy is being restored. There has not been an incident of firing and arson in Manipur in the last 24 hours.” However, on the next day, militants belonging to armed groups struggling against the State, would burn around a hundred of houses, including the house of a member of the federal congress of Manipur. On the same day, Home Minister, Amit Shah, insisted in demanding that the groups who are blocking the NH2 Highway end the blockade. The highway is very important for the communications between the Indian State and Manipur.

Three gunfights have been reported in Manipur: the 5th of June there was a gunfight between armed groups of the Kangchup area, in the West Imphal district, resulting in three dead and four injured people. The 6th of June there was an attack against the military and police force of the Indian State, with one BSF soldier killed [Border Security Forces] and two members of the paramilitary group, the Assam Rifles, injured. At the same time there was another gunfight, but this time without casualties for any side. Meanwhile, the government decided to protract the ban for access to Internet until 10th of June. The ban has been ongoing since 4th of May and has been extended multiple times.

In Chhattisgarh there have been reports of two guerrilla actions, with three injured policemen of the Indian State. Both actions happened in the district of Bijapur. This is one of the districts with the strongest presence of the PLGA in the whole Indian State.

In the first of these actions, three policemen of the Central Reserve Police Force [CRPF] were injured. Local media describes what happened: “The incident took place at 10.30 am near Tekameta hill under Gangaloor police station limits when a joint team of the CRPF’s 85th and 222nd battalions was out on an area domination operation from Pusnar camp, located around 400 km from State capital Raipur. While the team was cordoning off the area, the pressure IED [Improvised Explosive Device] exploded, injuring three CRPF personnel”. One of them is seriously injured.

Today there was another encounter between a guerrilla unit and two special units of the Police Force, the CoBRA [Author’s note: Commando Battalion for Resolute Action, an elite unit of Indian police, specialized in counter-insurgency] and the Madhya Pradesh Special Task Force. Despite the big deployment of police forces, there were not casualties in the guerrilla side.

Map of the federal State of Chhattisgarh inside the Indian State. Source: website Britannica
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