IMPHAL, Jan 1 - Militant activities continued unabated in Manipur with the deadliest strike claiming lives of 18 army personnel in 2015 while frequent general strikes and economic blockades hit the state hard.
The state also saw three Governors during the year. Syed Ahmed was sworn in on May 16 replacing KK Paul. However, Ahmed lost his fight with cancer and died at Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital on September 27. Present Governor V Shanmuganathan was then sworn in on September 30.
During his tenure, Ahmed had declined to give assent to the Manipur Tenants, Visitors and Migrant Workers Bill, 2015 which was passed by the Assembly on March 15. It was withdrawn on August 16 during a special session.
The BJP opened its account in the 60-member Manipur Assembly when Kh Joykishan Singh and Th Bishwajit Singh won the bypolls held on November 21 defeating their Congress rivals.
In good news to the state, the Centre decided to establish the country’s first sports university in Manipur and selected Yaithibi Loukol in Thoubal district as the site.
The Manipur University of Culture will also come up with the state government passing a bill in the Legislative Assembly.
But militant activities kept the security establishment on its toes in 2015.
On June 4, 18 army personnel belonging to the 6 Dogra Regiment were killed near Paraolon village in Chandel district in an ambush by combined outlawed militant cadres of NSCN(K), Kanglei Yaon Kanna Lup (KYKL). The rebels used Lathod guns along with automatic rifles.
The army team was on a road opening patrol as part of its daily routine along the Tengnoupal-New Samtal road, about 80 km from Imphal, when it was attacked.
The first truck carrying about six soldiers also had barrels of fuel which exploded. The second truck was carrying about 18-19 soldiers while the rest of about 46 member-strong convoy were in other trucks. The bodies of majority of the soldiers were charred completely.
Army also killed an NSCN-K and a KYKL militant in the ambush.
Nearly 40 militant groups have been operating in trouble-torn Manipur for about four decades now. The rebel groups have been boycotting and calling general strikes in Manipur on the Republic Day and Independence Day every year during the last decade and same was the case in 2015.
Bandhs, general strikes and economic blockades took a heavy toll on the state’s economy. A survey claimed that Manipur lost Rs 36 crore daily every time when there was a bandh or general strike and Rs 3.09 crore per day when there was an economic blockade. – PTI