Violence Erupts in Manipur as Mob Protests Abduction, Security Forces Launch Extensive Combing Operation

Violence Erupts in Manipur as Mob Protests Abduction, Security Forces Launch Extensive Combing Operation

In a recent bout of violence in Imphal, Manipur, more than 60 individuals, including police officers, sustained injuries during clashes with a protesting mob. The mob, which included students, expressed outrage over the police's perceived inaction regarding the alleged abduction and murder of two teenagers from the region. This unrest escalated as the crowd reportedly assaulted a policeman, seized his weapon, attacked government offices, vandalized the residence of a political leader, set a police vehicle on fire, and breached barricades. These events have further deteriorated the state's law-and-order situation, marked by ethnic clashes between the tribal Kuki and non-tribal Meitei communities since early May.

Following the violence, curfew restrictions, which had previously been relaxed, were reimposed in the valley. Additionally, mobile data services, which had been restored only five days earlier after nearly five months of suspension, were once again suspended for a period of five days.

In response to the ongoing unrest in Manipur, security forces have devised a comprehensive combing operation spanning various districts. Their primary goal is to locate and recover firearms and ammunition that have gone missing since the outbreak of riots in the region.

The Manipur government has announced the commencement of a "vigorous and all-encompassing search operation" throughout the state, beginning after a 15-day period. Individuals found to be associated with illegal weapons will face severe legal consequences.

The disappearance of looted weapons is a matter of concern for both the Union and state governments, as there are fears that these arms and ammunition could find their way into neighboring regions. Sources have confirmed that these large-scale operations are being initiated due to the limited success of previous appeals made by government authorities and security forces. To date, only 1,350 weapons have been recovered, with a significant quantity of ammunition still unaccounted for.

Recent efforts to recover weapons looted or stolen from police stations in Manipur have yielded minimal results. Officials have also noted that designated areas for surreptitious weapon returns have seen no activity.

The intelligence network has been activated to identify priority areas for security force operations. It is reported that these operations will be conducted on a district-by-district basis to minimize confusion. Local police will play a crucial role in these operations, identifying routes and engaging with local communities to prevent conflicts. Anticipating potential confrontations with hostile crowds during these operations, a well-considered plan to handle such situations is being developed. These operations will cover both hilly and valley areas.

A senior official has acknowledged that when initial attempts were made to recover the looted weapons, supporters of the wrongdoers gathered in significant numbers to shield them from any action.

The government has reiterated its commitment to taking stringent action against wrongdoers or groups operating anywhere in the state. In response to the ongoing violence, the government has declared the entire state as a "disturbed area" and extended the application of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to all but 19 police station areas. Notably, in March of the current year, the Union government had revoked AFSPA from four police stations in Manipur, reducing the number of police station limits without AFSPA to 19, spanning seven districts of the state.

The comments posted here are not from Cnews Live. Kindly refrain from using derogatory, personal, or obscene words in your comments.