Army and Assam Rifles personnel deployed in Manipur after fresh violence; curfew imposed in eight districts and mobile internet services suspended due to tribal agitation.
Following violence during a “Tribal Solidarity March” in Manipur, the Army and Assam Rifles personnel were deployed in affected districts to restore law and order.
The protest was called by the All Tribal Student Union Manipur to oppose the demand of Meiteis for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
The state government suspended mobile internet services for five days and imposed curfew under Section 144 CrPC in various districts after the violence. The Army conducted area domination exercises and provided shelter to around 4,000 villagers in contingency operating bases and state government premises.
They also conducted flag marches to maintain control of the situation. As per reports, the violence was brought under control by the morning, and more people were being shifted to safer places.
Mary Kom, a boxing champion, took to Twitter to seek help from the government and media establishments as violence erupted in her state.
The violence occurred during a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ organized by ATSUM to protest the demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status by non-tribal Meiteis, who have a dominant presence in the Imphal Valley.
AMIT SHAH CALLS CM N BIREN SINGH
Amit Shah, the Union Home Minister, spoke with Manipur’s CM N Biren Singh to assess the situation in the state following fresh violence. Shah assured Singh of all possible help from the Central government and advised him to maintain law and order in the state.
Following the discussion between the Manipur and Central governments, it was decided that additional forces would be deployed in Manipur from neighboring states to control the situation.
Meanwhile, Singh urged people in the state to cooperate with the government to maintain peace and harmony.
He also stated that the incidents of clashes and vandalism reported in some places were the result of a misunderstanding between two sections of society, and the government is taking all steps to control the situation.
VIOLENCE ERUPTS DURING RALLY
A rally was organized by ATSUM, during which thousands of agitators gathered to protest the inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category.
However, violence between tribals and non-tribals was reported in the Torbung area of Manipur’s Churachandpur district. Protesters were seen burning tires and other objects on the isolated roads of Torbung Village, and police had to fire several rounds of tear gas shells to control the situation.
As a result of the violence, curfew was imposed in several districts, including non-tribal dominated Imphal West, Kakching, Thoubal, Jiribam, and Bishnupur districts and tribal-dominated Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, and Tengnoupal districts.
All Tribal Student Union Manipur (ATSUM) had called for a march in all the 10 hill districts in Manipur to protest against the inclusion of the majority Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category.
The situation in Manipur remains tense in several areas even after a mob vandalized and set fire to the venue where the Chief Minister of Manipur, N Biren Singh, was scheduled to hold a program in Churachandpur district.
The tension in the district increased after protests and arson in New Lamka town in Churachandpur district over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest areas.