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HPC (D) deny hand in IRB camp attack
Published on 17 Nov. 2009 1:10 AM IST
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The Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic) has denied masterminding the recent raid on an India Reserve Battalion outpost in Cachar and blamed the Kuki National Council (Military Council), an underground group in Manipur, for the attack. The denial has added a new twist to the incident. Cachar police, however, continue to hold the HPC (D), a breakaway faction of the once insurgent outfit HPC in Mizoram, responsible for the attack, reported Sinlung news. On Friday around 2 am, the militants stormed the remote 15 IRB outpost at Chekarcham hamlet, 50km from here and injured four policemen before escaping with a huge cache of arms and ammunition. The denial by the HPC (D) came last evening when its publicity secretary J.C. Hmar sent an email to a section of the media in which the outfit had expressed its “sorrow and anguish” over injuries suffered by the four IRB personnel. Police officers here, however, take this disclaimer with a pinch of salt. They pointed out that the KNC (Military Council) faction did not have much presence along the border Cachar shares with Manipur. According to them, there has been no record of depredations by this Kuki outfit in areas opposite Cachar and are under Manipur. Police are verifying the statements of some Khasi tribals who claimed to have spotted one Lulun Kuki leading the team at the time of their escape through dense forests on the Matsul hills in Manipur. The seven Khasi tribals, who were forcibly commandeered by alleged Hmar gunmen from their houses in Chekarcham after the raid on the IRB outpost ostensibly to show them the escape route and carry the looted arms, returned home yesterday afternoon. Lulun Kuki, according to some Khasis in Chekarcham, had once worked as a teacher in a missionary-run middle school there. Assam police IGP (armed forces) R.M. Singh yesterday visited the Chekarcham area. Suspected HPC (D) rebels, numbering between 60 and 80, looted 20 SLR rifles, three carbines, two light machine guns, a revolver and a large quantity of assorted ammunition.

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