A junior commissioned officer of the Indian Army was on Friday allegedly abducted from his home in Manipur’s Thoubal district, an Army officer said.

The abducted officer, identified as Konsam Kheda Singh, is a resident of Thoubal’s Charangpat Mamang Leikai village and was on leave.

Singh was allegedly abducted from his home in a vehicle at around 9 am. The motive behind his abduction is not known, PTI reported.

The security forces have launched a search operation to rescue Singh.

Since the ethnic conflict between the Meitei and Kuki communities began in May, this is the fourth incident of security personnel, while on leave or on duty, or their relatives having been targeted.

The conflict has so far left 219 persons dead. Around 60,000 persons have been forced to flee their homes.

On February 27, members of the Meitei armed group Arambai Tenggol assaulted and briefly abducted the Imphal additional superintendent of police from his home in Imphal East district, the police alleged. This had led Manipur Police commandos in Imphal to lay down their arms to protest the attack.

In September, a former Assam Regiment soldier Serto Thangthang Kom was abducted and killed by unidentified persons.

In November, an unidentified armed group had abducted and killed four members of an Army soldier’s family while they were travelling in a vehicle from Churachandpur to Leimakhong. A fifth passenger, the father of the soldier, had managed to escape despite being injured and was subsequently airlifted by the Army to Guwahati, Assam, for treatment.

Also read: Why Manipur Police is protesting against an armed Meitei militia