Imphal (SPN) | A shootout broke out between a team of district police and suspected members of Kuki Independent Army (KIA) in Suangphuh village, under Henglep sub-division of Churachandpur district, on Sunday afternoon.
During the encounter, a civilian named Lhunpao was hit by a stray bullet on his left knee, causing him an injury. The incident occurred around 2:30 pm and was reported to the authorities immediately.
According to sources, the KIA militants had earlier looted a US-made carbine and three country-made SBBL guns from KNF-Z group. The police were able to recover these weapons from the encounter site, but there was no report of any casualties on either side.
The injured civilian, Lhunpao, has been identified, and his medical treatment is underway. Meanwhile, three villagers are still missing after the encounter, leading to suspicion that they may have either been injured or killed during the gun battle.
Davidson Haokip, the commander-in-chief of Kuki Independent Army/Kuki Independent Organisation (KIA/KIO), has been declared wanted by the police. A cash reward of Rs 50,000 has been announced for anyone who can provide information about his whereabouts.
Haokip is responsible for the raiding and looting of 21 weapons from a designated camp of surrendered cadres of armed outfits, which are signatory to the suspension of operation (SoO) agreement signed with the government.
The camp, located near Chingkhojou village, was set up to house cadres of SoO groups KNF-Z, UTLA, and USRA. Haokip’s actions have drawn widespread criticism and condemnation from the authorities and the public alike.
The news of the civilian casualty during the shootout has sparked concern among the local population. Suangphuh village is located at a distance of about 80 km from Churachandpur town, and the incident has left the villagers in shock and fear.