Biren appeals insurgents to shun violence for political solution

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HT Correspondent

IMPHAL, July 31: Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Friday while paying the last respects to the three Assam Rifles soldiers martyred in a militant attack at Khongtal village in Chandel District on Wednesday, reiterated his appeals to the armed groups to shun the path of violence and come over-ground for a political solution.

The chief minister was attending a wreath laying ceremony organised in honour of the martyred before their bodies were airlifted for the onwards journey to their respective states at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport, Imphal on Friday.

Notably, 3 Assam Rifles (AR) soldiers, one each from Assam, Manipur and Nagaland, lost their lives in an ambush launched by a joint cadre of 3 insurgent outfits. Speaking to media persons, the Chief Minister asserted that the Government would not remain a mute spectator and that the perpetrators would definitely be hunted down.

“With deep sorrow,” the CM said, “The country will always remember their martyrdom and their sacrifice will not go in vain. I paid homage to the three brave soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in a cowardly attack.”

In response to a question by a journalist, the CM said, “As we lost a son of Manipur, my government will take up necessary arrangements to rehabilitate and provide a quality life for the families of martyrs who have served in the military and paramilitary forces.”

Stating that the State Government would provide suitable assistance to the family of the martyred – Ratan Salam, the chief minister said that the matter would be put up in the State Cabinet for discussion. Singh also met the family members of Salam, who was one of the three slain soldiers and a resident of Kakching village in Manipur and expressed his deepest condolences.

Earlier, N Biren Singh led others in laying wreaths and paying last respects to the deceased Assam Rifles personnel. Khurai MLA L Sushindro, DGP LM Khaute, other high ranking civil, military and police officers and family members also attended the ceremony.

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