MLA Wungnaoshang escapes unhurt in ambush which left 7 dead, 6 wounded


A commando inspecting the damaged vehicle of the MLA in the ambushed.
IMPHAL  April 15: Uniformed bodies were lying lifeless on the road, a bullet ridden gypsy was smashed against the hillock, the MLA’s gypsy lay plunged down in a gorge.
Seven persons including six security guards of MLA Wungnaoshang Keishing were mowed down in an ambush while another 6 persons sustained serious injuries. Among the injured, 5 are security guards.
The MLA however miraculously escaped unhurt.
The incident took place near Riha village of Ukhrul district under Litan police station at around 2.30 pm today. MLA Wungnaoshang Keishing and his escort were driving out from Riha village towards Imphal when they were ambushed.
Including one reporter of IFP, four reporters accompanied the MLA on his trip. At around 9.40 am in the morning. The reporters assembled at his official quarter at Babupara. Wungnaoshang then hinted that a certain hill based UG group was threatening him for demanding full fledged district status for Phungyar assembly constituency. “I am not afraid, the people are with me, and the public are tired of them. They only want to control the flow of money flowing in to Ukhrul district, if Phungyar becomes a district, then their plans will fail”, he said.
The media team in a car followed the MLA convoy and from Yeingangpokpi bazaar headed towards Riha village, which lies 3 kilometers eastward from NH 150. After reaching Riha, the MLA and his entourage with local leaders had lunch and afterwards attended the “One day constituency level convention on HIV/AIDS” at Riha community hall as the chief guest. The program was organized by the Manipur Legislators’ Forum on HIV/AIDS.
Tamei MLA, Awangbou Newmai and ex MLA BD Behring who were supposed to attend as dignitaries at the function remained absent. There was a poor turnout of locals at the function and most of the houses were deserted.
This reporter who went around the village assumed that the residents might be occupied with work at a nearby stone quarry. Nearing the end of the program, Wungnaoshang told the journalist that he will leave a little earlier (the journalist along with the UNAIDS team were supposed to return with him). Retd DSWO Vaorei Keishing, who was accompanying the MLA said ‘It’s strange that we who are coming with the MLA outnumbered the participants from the village in today’s programme’. Hardly ten minutes after MLA Wungnaoshang Keishing left, sounds of automatic gunfire were heard which lasted for nearly ten minutes.The media team immediately started from the community hall while reporting to the police that an incident of firing has occurred. On the way, about 5 minutes later some girls came running followed by other four persons in civilian clothing holding Kalashnikovs from the direction of gunfire. They also scrutinized the media persons who passed them and later ran towards Riha village. After holding back for some time, the reporters proceeded towards the spot of ambush.
Some 300 meters from Riha village and after three turns on the hill road, the MLA’s gypsy was found lying in a deep ravine plunged down from the road. The last gypsy of the convoy remained smashed at the hillside and three escort guards were lying face down, two of them crying out in pain, all had multiple bullet injuries. Later, the toll from the ambush rose to seven.
 Two guards were injured and three died from the last gypsy (MNOIW/4552).The MLA’s gypsy (MNOIK/6264)  saw three fatalities; two security guards and one personal driver of Wungnaoshang. Incredibly, the MLA escaped unhurt with just some minor bruises. He had jumped out of the vehicle as it fell down the gorge. Ningthembi, another security guard escaped unhurt as he also had jumped out hearing sound of gunfire. Vaorei Keishing,65 , retired officer of district social welfare who accompanied the MLA also sustained bullet injury and was rescued by locals from inside the MLA’s vehicle. A security guard succumbed as he was brought up the hillside by villagers.
The pilot gypsy (MNO6/2672) which managed to escape from the ambush zone saw one fatality and two wounded was found parked at a safe distance. Lamlai police arrived at the site of ambush after about forty minutes.
A visibly shaken Ningthembi told mediapersons that they came under automatic fire from the front hillock, as he jumped out from the vehicle, the MLA riding in the passenger side was also opening the door. Ningthembi was able to hide in a small ditch and the bullets were raining down on him and the other security guards were falling down like ninepins at the hail of bullets which came from the hillock behind. He stated that around fifteen persons were shooting at them, another group which was beyond his view also fired from the front. After exchange of fire from both sides, most of his companions either lay dead or wounded and the gunshots shots later came to a halt. He heard the attackers shout the word “Khupairae, khupairae” meaning “finished/over” in Tangkhul dialect. After some time Ningthembi saw MLA Wungnaoshang by the roadside and ran towards him. He was in a state of shock and couldn’t speak. Later, he was whisked away to safety in the alto car in which the media team came and was given first aid at the post of 23 AR, Sawombun village. No weapons were taken away by the attackers in the ambush. Locals of Riha village helped in the rescue operations and some of the injured was taken for treatment by the locals in a Maruti Van.
The stranded mediapersons were rescued from the spot by MLA Ibohanbi.


  1. Tamei MLA, Awangbou Newmai and ex MLA BD Behring who were supposed to attend as dignitaries at the function remained absent (Suspect1).

    Khupairae, khupairae aka Tangkhul Dialect ( Suspect 2) Obviously the savages were Muivah`s Dog

    These Dogs should be brought to Justice. Its clear UNC and other organisation including NSCN-IM who had threatened Wungnaoshang Keishing b4 this incident are involved directly or indirectly.

    When two Naga students were killed at Mao there were huge uproar from Naga people. I very much doubt their sincerity towards justice and humanity..


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