Injured in Manipur violence, Assam Rifles jawan dies in Kolkata hospital


An Assam Rifles jawan, who was injured in an attack by militants during the ethnic violence in Manipur a week ago, died in a hospital in Kolkata on Wednesday, an official said.

Soldiers on an area domination exercise were fired on by unknown militants at 11 am at Dolaithabi area in Imphal East district on May 10 leaving Rifleman Alok Rao injured.

After initial treatment, he was taken to the Command Hospital in Kolkata.

“Rifleman Alok Rao of 18 Assam Rifles, who suffered a gunshot wound on May 10 in an operation in Manipur, succumbed to his injury at Command Hospital in Kolkata on May 17,” the defence PRO said.

Clashes broke out in Manipur after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals — Nagas and Kukis — constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.

The ethnic clashes claimed over 70 lives and some 10,000 army and para-military personnel had to be deployed to bring back normalcy in the northeastern state.