- Ezrela Dalidia Fanai, NET Correspondent, Mizoram
The Commanding Officer of Khuga Battalion, 46 Assam Rifles Colonel Viplav Tripathi, while moving with the Quick Reaction Team (QRT) and family at Sehkan village, Singhat Subdivision of Churachandpur district, Manipur was ambushed with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by militants.
In the incident, family of the Commanding officer, his wife and a 6-yr-old son also lost their lives. The other injured personnel, who was admitted at Behianga health care center also lost their lives.
In the firefight, the Commanding officer and three QRT personnel lost their lives on the spot.
According to sources, the convoy was attacked at around 10 AM in Sehkan village of Churachandpur district adjacent to Indo-Myanmar border Pillar No. 43, when the Commanding Official was returning from his forward company base to his battalion headquarters.
Although no group has officially claimed responsibility for the attack, but reports suspect that Manipur-based militant outfit People’s Liberation Army (PLA)/PREPAK behind the cowardly attack.
Taking to Twitter, the Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh condemned the dastardly act, and informed that state & paramilitary forces will soon track down the assailants. “Strongly condemn the cowardly attack on a convoy of 46 AR which has reportedly killed few personnel including the CO & his family at CCpur today. The State forces & Para military are already on their job to track down the militants. The perpetrators will be brought to justice.” – tweeted the CM.
Strongly condemn the cowardly attack on a convoy of 46 AR which has reportedly killed few personnel including the CO & his family at CCpur today. The State forces & Para military are already on their job to track down the militants. The perpetrators will be brought to justice.
— N.Biren Singh (@NBirenSingh) November 13, 2021
Meanwhile, the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has also condemned the cowardly attack, and informed that perpetrators associated with the act will soon be brought to justice. “The cowardly attack on an Assam Rifles convoy in Churachandpur, Manipur is extremely painful & condemnable. The nation has lost 5 brave soldiers including CO 46 AR and two family members. My condolences to the bereaved families. The perpetrators will be brought to justice soon.”
The cowardly attack on an Assam Rifles convoy in Churachandpur, Manipur is extremely painful & condemnable. The nation has lost 5 brave soldiers including CO 46 AR and two family members.
My condolences to the bereaved families. The perpetrators will be brought to justice soon.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) November 13, 2021
Its worthy to note that the Commanding Officer, Colonel Viplav Tripathi had previously served in the Aizawl Battalion (46 AR) of Mizoram till July 2021 before the battalion moved to Khuga, Churachandpur District of Manipur.
Under his able and energetic leadership, the battalion at the forefront in border management thwarted illegal smuggling along the Indo-Myanmar Border. The battalion recovered several weapons and war like stores which could have landed in the hands of Anti-National elements, thereby averting major casualties.
Colonel Viplav Tripathi, though his remarkable endeavors has bonded closely with the people of Mizoram. The Anti Drug campaign conducted by his battalion in January 2021 received gained laurels; and the campaign rightfully created by him aimed to generate awareness across the entire state including the remote villages.
The Anti-Drug Campaign ensured that youth of Mizoram can be guided through the right direction.
His battalion was also involved in many charity activities within Aizawl and other neighboring villages.
During the nationwide lockdown, when the state and the people from far flung villages faced hardships in accessing amenities, Colonel Tripathi supported the residents of Mizoram by distributing rations, medicines and other basic amenities along various localities.
The Martyrdom of such an energetic and proactive Commanding Officer has left the people and troops of Assam Rifles in grief. Absence of Col Tripathi will be felt by people of Aizawl and Khuga.
It is suspected that the insurgent group responsible for this massacre must be from PREPAK cadre as the PREPAK remembrance day is celebrated on 12/13 November 2021.
It is also learnt that two villagers – Lallianmang (35 yrs), and Thangzamang (45 yrs) were detained by the Assam Rifles. However, the personnel later released them.