Armed Wing of United National Liberation Front (UNLF), Manipur Peoples Army (MPA) has claimed responsibility for the violent incidents on security forces in the recent past in Manipur, including the IED blast on a patrolling party of 6 Assam Rifles on 04th December 2017, grenade and IED attack on M Sector on 15th January 2018, grenade attack at Polo Ground and grenade blast at Assam Rifles Transit Camp at Minuthong on 06th February 2018.
“The cowardly acts of the proscribed group to target the troops of Assam Rifles especially on 05th Feb 2018 during the ongoing 15th Sentinel Cup Equestrian Championship 2018 & 9th Junior State Equestrian Championship, being organized by Manipur Equestrian Society and Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association assisted by Assam Rifles to encourage and showcase the rich Meitei culture, history and heritage has drawn criticism from all,” the Assam Rifles said in a press release.
“The tournament was being organized in the heart of Imphal town at Imphal Polo Ground (Mapal Kangjeibung), a place considered sacred by many due to its association with the ancient sport of Sagol Kangjei supposed to have been played by the Meitei deities themselves in the earlier times. There is hence an immense significance attached to the place by the locals of Imphal town. Besides being of cultural value, the revival and encouragement to the sport was also having beneficial effects for the economy by bringing in foreign players and tourists to the state. Accordingly, this has expectedly drawn strong criticism from one and all Manipuris,” the release added.
“The Assam Rifles however will not play into the hands of such devious actors and firmly commit that no amount of such acts of terror against them will make the Assam Rifles cause any inconvenience to the innocent and peace-loving people of Manipur. Assam Rifles reaffirms its commitment to continue to work with the people of Manipur for betterment of society and bring in peace and prosperity and live upto its epithet of Friends of The North East,” it added.
“The perpetrators of these crimes will soon be identified and brought before the justice system to face the consequences of their senseless acts of violence that have tried to derail the fledgling peace process in the state,” the release further said.