Imphal: Despite the sacrifice of lives of three of its troopers in Manipur, the Assam Rifles remained committed to the security of the nation and would continue to uphold its ideals in its pursuit to defeat secessionist forces, a defence spokesman said on Friday.
Three Assam Rifles troopers were killed while five others were injured in an ambush by an insurgent group near the India-Myanmar border in Chandel area in Manipur on Wednesday night.
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said on Friday that the state government would not remain quiet but "hunt down the perpetrators" involved in the militant attack that killed three Assam Rifles personnel.
Defence spokesman Lt. Col. P. Khongsai said the martyred soldiers hailing from Manipur, Nagaland and Assam truly represented the idea of unity in diversity - "the strength of our nation and the Assam Rifles".
He said that to honour the supreme sacrifice made by Havildar (GD) Pranay Kalita, Rifleman (GD) Methna Konyak and Rifleman (GD) Ratan Salam of the Assam Rifles, who laid down their lives in the line of duty in Manipur, a wreath-laying ceremony with full military honours was organised at Tulihal airport in Imphal on Friday.
Wreaths were laid to pay homage to the fallen soldiers by the Manipur Chief Minister, Director General of Manipur Police L. M. Khaute, Brigadier D. S. Shisodia, Brigadier Deepak Joshi and other senior officers.
Havildar (GD) Pranay Kalita, a resident of Assam's Barpeta district, is survived by his wife and two daughters, while Rifleman (GD) Methna Konyak is a resident of Mon District in Nagaland and is survived by his wife and daughter.
Rifleman Ratan Salam is a resident of Manipur's Kakching Makha Leikai area and he has left behind his wife and two sons.
"The nation salutes their supreme sacrifice made in the highest traditions of the force in service of the nation. In this hour of grief, Assam Rifles stands firm in its solemn commitment to ensure the welfare of the families of the fallen soldiers," a defence release said.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and his Manipur counterpart N. Biren Singh condemned the attack on the Assam Rifles troopers.
Sonowal in a statement said: "It is really shocking to know the loss of the life of a brave jawan of our state who became an innocent victim of the dastardly attack of the militants. Militancy is not a solution to any problem, rather it complicates the situation. The indiscriminate attack on the on-duty jawans deserves to be disapproved by all sections."
"This is a testing time for the family of slain jawan Pranay Kalita, and I express my heartfelt empathy with the bereaved family members and pray to God for eternal peace of the departed soul," he added.
Biren Singh said in a tweet: "As we lost a son of Manipur in a cowardly attack by militants in Chandel, the Govt of Manipur would take up necessary arrangement to rehabilitate and provide a quality life for the families of the martyrs from Manipur who have served in the military and para-military forces."
The Manipur Chief Minister told the media that there is no place for violence in a democratic country like India.
"The government would not remain a silent spectator, and the perpetrators would be positively hunted down," he said and appealed to the armed militant outfits to shun violence and join the mainstream for a political solution of their genuine issues, if any. The matter would be discussed in the state cabinet, Singh added. (IANS)
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