- Area was cordoned off before the gun battle started
- Protests have been going on against killing of a tribal leader
- Manipur government had suspended 16 cops for negligence of duty
Four insurgents were shot dead in central Manipur's Thoubal district by security forces on Sunday, officials said. Sources said the Army's Special Forces were involved in the operation.
Officials said that based on intelligence inputs on presence of insurgents, a joint operation of the security forces was launched on Saturday in Thoubal district. The area was cordoned off before the gun battle started.
Protests have been going on in different parts of Manipur against the assassination of an influential tribal leader and activist Athuan Abonmai by insurgents on September 22.
Mr Abonmai, the former president of Zeliangrong Baudi, a tribal-based local council in Tamenglong district and a leader of the Naga People's Front (NPF), was kidnapped on September 22 when Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, accompanied by his ministerial colleagues, was visiting the hill district bordering Assam and Nagaland to inaugurate some projects as a part of the state's "Go to Hills" campaign.
On the request of the Manipur government, the Home Ministry earlier this month asked the National Investigation Agency to probe the assassination of the tribal leader.
The Manipur government had suspended 16 policemen including some troopers of Manipur Rifles for negligence of duty and failing to protect the tribal leader.