Imphal, Jul 31 (DIPR)
Chief Minister N Biren Singh today paid last respects to the three Assam Rifles soldiers, who were killed in a militant attack at Khongtal village in Chandel district on July 29. He attended a wreath laying ceremony organised in their honour at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport.
Speaking to media persons, the Chief Minister said that there is no place for violence in a democratic country like India. Strongly condemning the incident, the Chief Minister asserted that the Government would not remain a silent spectator, and the perpetrators would be definitely hunted down.
Biren also appealed to the armed groups to shun hostilities and come out for a political solution.
Stating that the State Government would provide suitable assistance to the families of the martyred Central forces personnel belonging to Manipur, the Chief Minister said that the matter would be put before the State Cabinet for discussion.
Significantly the elder brother of the slain AR personnel from Manipur was also killed in an ambush at Ukhrul side back in 2007 while on election duty. The brother, Salam Santosh was in the CRPF.
Responding to a query regarding casualties of COVID-19 patients, the Chief Minister said that all the persons, who had died so far had pre-existing ailments. As such, it was hard to save their lives, he informed. However, the Government has been trying its best to save every single life, the Chief Minister stated.
Earlier, N Biren Singh led others in laying wreaths and paying last respects to the deceased Assam Rifles personnel. MLA L Sushindro, DGP LM Khaute, other high ranking civil, military and police officers and family members also attended the ceremony.
Later, the Chief Minister met family members of Ratan Salam, who was one of the three Assam Rifles soldiers killed in the militant attack, and extended his deep condolences. Sharing their grief, the Chief Minister said that attaining martyrdom for the country is like entering heaven alive.
The wreath laying ceremony held at the airport with full military honours was organised under the aegis of Hqs IG AR (South). Deputy IG AR (S) Brig DS Sisodia, 9 Sector AR Commander Deepak Joshi and Colonel Prashant Misra of 57 Mountain Division also paid homage to the fallen soldiers by laying wreaths on their caskets.
The sacrifice of the fallen soldiers hailing from Manipur, Nagaland and Assam truly represents the idea of unity in diversity which is the strength of the Nation and the Assam Rifles, said a press release issued by the Hqs IG AR (S).
Havildar Pranay Kalita, a resident of Barpeta, Assam is survived by his wife and two daughters while Rifleman Methna Konyak, a resident of Mon district, Nagaland is survived by his wife and daughter. Rifleman Ratan Salam is a resident of Kakching Makha Leikai and he left behind his wife and two sons.
They were dedicated, brave and courageous soldiers of the Assam Rifles and the Nation salutes their supreme sacrifice, it said. In this hour of grief, the Assam Rifles stands firm in its commitment to ensure welfare of the families of the fallen soldiers, it added. A late report informed that the last rites of Ratan Salam were performed today.
At Kakching Makha Leikai crematorium, Kakching SP Victoria Yengkhom and top officers of 18 Assam Rifles, Pallel paid floral tributes to the slain soldier.
Troops of 18 AR also offered gun salute to Ratan Salam.