Manipur: Army Soldier On Leave Abducted From Home, Shot Dead
An Indian Army soldier, Serto Thangthang Kom, who was abducted two days ago (16 September) from his home in Imphal while on leave, was shot dead by unidentified assailants approximately 14 kilometres away.
The 41-year-old soldier belonged to the Defence Service Corps (DSC) and was attached to the 302 Company, Army Service Corps (ASC), stationed in Leimakhong, Manipur.
The abduction took place at his family's residence in Tarung, Happy Valley, Imphal West, around 10 am on Saturday.
Kom, a member of Manipur's Kom tribe, distinct from the Meitei and Kuki-Zomi communities currently in conflict within the state, was the victim of this shocking incident.
His 10-year-old son, who was reportedly the sole eyewitness to the abduction, informed the police that three individuals entered their home while they were on the porch. According to the child's account, his father was forcibly taken at gunpoint and driven away in a white vehicle.
The soldier's lifeless body was discovered on Sunday morning, around 9:30 am, in Khuningthek village within the jurisdiction of Sagolmang Police Station in Imphal East.
Kom's cousin, Pachung Kom, suggested that the perpetrators might have been acquainted with the deceased soldier, as they specifically targeted him and abducted him from his residence.
Pachung Kom stated, "He had returned from Leimakhong just a few days back. They entered the residential gate and took him away at gunpoint, which seems like a personal attack."
An army spokesperson confirmed the soldier's identity, and Kom's brother and brother-in-law revealed that he had been fatally shot in the head.
The post-mortem report is currently pending. The army expressed its condolences and support for Kom's family during this challenging time and strongly condemned the killing. Kom is survived by his wife, a daughter, and a son.
The Koms, a relatively small tribal community primarily residing in the outskirts of the Imphal Valley, have voiced concerns about being caught in the midst of the conflict between the two warring communities.
Notably, former Rajya Sabha MP and boxing champion M C Mary Kom, who hails from the Kom tribe, had previously written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, urging his intervention to protect the Kom tribe from the ongoing conflict in Manipur.
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