Rebuttal to the article titled ‘The political conflict, Why AR is here?’ published on 01 Nov 23 in The Sangai Express

1. The Sangai Express has published an article on 01 Nov 23 titled ‘The Political Conflict: Why AR is here?’. The news article carried a statement that “Moreover, what did the Assam Rifles do ? Can a conclusion be drawn that they just sat back and looked at the unfolding scenario even as a police officer was shot dead and a reinforcement team was waylaid with such deadly precision”. The subject statement is unfounded, provocative and irresponsible.
2. On perusing the article it clearly appears that the newspaper is trying to gain viewership by peddling a false narrative with a sensational heading, without bothering to check the facts. To set the record right, following facts are submitted:-
(a) The incident of 01 October 23, wherein the brave heart Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Chingtham Anand lost his life is tragic. The incident took place in general area Eastern Ground near Moreh, where the police personnel were deployed co-located with a column of BSF personnel.
(b) Further, on the same day when a column of State security forces with 29 vehicles moving from Chandel towards Moreh was attacked by armed miscreants in Senam (Tengnoupal District), the troops of the Assam Rifles rescued the three State Police personnel who had sustained gunshot wounds during the ambush. They were administered First Aid by Assam Rifles troops and thereafter, safely evacuated to the Assam Rifles Sector Hospital at Pallel where they received further care. Thereafter, the injured police personnel were safely evacuated to Raj Medicity, Imphal for immediate surgery by Assam Rifles troops.
3. Apropos above, it is clear that the various security forces including the Assam Rifles are carrying out their duties with utmost sincerely and bravery, displaying exemplary joints- manship against the cowardly acts of the miscreants.
4. The provocative and baseless reporting as exhibited in the article spreads misinformation and creates an additional front for the security forces to handle. It actually aids the miscreants and works against the efforts of the security forces who are trying to bring in peace and stability in the State.
5. In the interest of responsible journalism, we encourage newspapers, including Sangai Express, to thoroughly investigate and verify the facts before publishing articles that may vitiate the environment and defame the Security Forces. Repeated instances of Yellow journalism may eventually erode the credibility of print media which is avoidable.
Yours faithfully,
Staff Officer
(Public Relation & Media)
IGAR (South)

The Editor replies-In the first place, what the Assam Rifles is referring to here was not a news item, but a commentary, a commentary in the editorial column of this newspaper. Secondly the heading of the editorial is ‘Politics of conflict-Why is AR here.’
The rebuttal here is off the mark by a long way. As the heading of the commentary asked, Why is the AR here ? the question is still left open on how the ambush on the police convoy was staged.
It would not have been possible for some ‘village volunteers’ to have the expertise to pick a spot from where the ambush could be carried out so clinically. How did a marksman who could fire a sniper or a gunman take position and then open fire with so such clinical precision ?
The assistance extended by the Assam Rifles to the injured policemen is acknowledged and noted, but this was beyond the ambit of the commentary. The thrust of the commentary was, how did the militants manage to pick the ambush spot and carry out the attack besides the fatal shot fired at the police officer ?
To repeat, it was an opinion piece, it was not a news report.