Imphal, Nov 03: In the aftermath of the tragic killing of sub-divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Chingtham Anand Kumar in Moreh, Manipur, it is suggested that the People’s Protection Force (PPF), a newly formed group, may be responsible for the attack, according to confidential sources.

While Manipur’s security advisor, Kuldiep Singh, has publicly acknowledged that the sniper and individuals involved in the incident have been identified, the sources allege that the PPF executed the assault.

They claim that the shooting was conducted under the supervision of a commander affiliated with a Kuki militant group that operates under the Suspension of Operation (SoO), a tripartite ceasefire agreement with the state government and the Centre.

Three days prior to the sniper attack, PPF members and representatives from an apex Kuki civil organization in Tengnoupal district engaged in a heated argument with SDPO Anand over the clearance of the Eastern Shine school ground. The SDPO, along with the 3rd Indian Reserve Battalion Commandant and the Superintendent of Police, was overseeing the clearance work to prepare a helipad.

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Following the altercation on October 29, a co-founder of the PPF and a Kuki National Army (KNA) commander positioned themselves near a Meitei Baptist church in Moreh. Using a newly acquired sniper from the Thailand-Myanmar border, they allegedly shot the SDPO.

Sources further claim that individuals in Moreh are extorting money from residents to purchase ammunition, sophisticated weapons, and snipers. They also seek to bring master trainers from Myanmar to India to train Chin-Kuki youths as PPF volunteers. Recruits are reportedly sheltered and provided arms training in Kuki villages along the India-Myanmar border.

It is estimated that the extortion drive initially amassed a significant amount, with an influential Chin-Kuki body in Moreh issuing the extortion “order.” The sources also allege the recent purchase of sophisticated weapons like snipers, assault rifles, rocket propellers, and explosives from Thailand and China.

Another round of arms training for PPF volunteers is reported to be underway in Haolenphai and Sahei, with the KNA commander overseeing the process. The incident occurred amid rising ethnic violence in Manipur, initiated by a tribal solidarity rally that turned violent on May 3. This event led to retaliatory violence between the Chin-Kuki-Zo and Meitei communities, affecting the state.