Manipur ambush: Why the attack?

Manipur ambush: Why the attack?

The attack is seen as an attempt by a miffed and slighted Khaplang to send out the message that they cannot be ignored.

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One of the 6th Dogra Regiment vehicles that was ambushed by the militants, in Manipur on June 4. (Source: Express photo by Deepak Shijagurumayum)

The NSCN (Khaplang) — along with two other insurgent groups, the KCP and KYKL — has claimed responsibility for the June 4 attack on the 6 Dogra Regiment that left 18 Army personnel dead. While pulling out of its ceasefire agreement with the Indian government in March, the Myanmar-based NSCN (K) claimed that the talks with New Delhi had remained fruitless — the deeper story, however, is its rift with the NSCN (IM), the rival outfit on which the Indian government has focused its attention almost entirely in recent years. The attack is seen as an attempt by a miffed and slighted Khaplang to send out the message that they cannot be ignored. It was meant to show that despite being based in Myanmar, the NSCN (K)’s sphere of influence and strike capability extended deep inside India.

Also Read: Groups that attacked the 6 Dogra

How was it done?
The NSCN (K) is believed to be funded through extortion rackets and the thriving drug trade across the borders of Myanmar, Thailand and India. Arms and ammunition are procured from the massive illegal bazaar in Thailand, and supplemented by supplies that come across from China. While there is increasing disillusionment with the “liberation movements” in Manipur, there continues to remain alive, still, a great deal of public sympathy and support to these movements, which has allowed these groups to continue to survive for over 50 years now.


Who backed attack?
The KYKL and KCP played supporting roles in the ambush that was carried out by the NSCN (K). All groups that have no agreements with the Indian government operate out of camps in NSCN (K) areas in Myanmar, and are beholden to the group for shelter and support. The NSCN (K) in turn, needed the support of the KYKL and KCP for their knowledge of the area. Khaplang has already announced that this is the first of many planned attacks against the Indian security forces.