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Manipur Deputy CM escapes militant attack

Imphal, Feb 21: Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam on Tuesday escaped an attack on his life by a tribal militant outfit in Tamenglong district.

The ambush was reported at 10.30 a.m. at mkalong in Tamenglong district when Gaikhangam was going there to address an election meeting. The police commandos were going as advance party to clear the mountain road of militants.

Police said a militant group opened fire at the Minister’s cavalcade at two places.

In the firing one police commando identified as Y. Dinesh of Thangmeiband in Imphal, the state capital, was hit in the right thigh.

Police said after the attacks the cavalcade of Gaikhangam, also the state Home Minister, was stranded for several minutes. However, the Minister and his entourage proceeded towards the meeting venue once reinforcements arrived there.

With elaborate security arrangements, Gaikhangam addressed an election meeting at Khoupum within his constituency. Police said that some cadres of a militant group had warned the villagers on Monday night against attending the election meeting.

Some years back Gaikhangam was one of the elected tribal representatives who were allegedly arms-twisted to sign a memorandum demanding ga unification. Gaikhangam later said that he had to sign it “under duress”.

He has been a vociferous opponent of the tiolist Socialist Council of galand(NSCN-IM) all these years. Some months back Gaikhangam was one of the Ministers attacked by armed militants in Ukhrul district. The Ministerial team led by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh had gone there to iugurate a power sub station.

In a separate incident, Karam Shyam, an MLA in Manipur, told reporters on Tuesday that his security guards had opened fire in the air to scare away the supporters of Okram Joy, a BJP candidate in the upcoming elections.

He said that Joy has been threatening the people to vote for him in the Langthabal constituency. He also disclosed that he had sent a detailed report on the incident to the Election Commission of India. (IANS)