Manipur Violence: Violent clashes broke out at various places in Manipur during the ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ called by the All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur (ATSUM) on 3 May. Thousands of tribals took out a march to protest the demand for inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe category. However, as a last resort to control the situation amid escalating violence, the Manipur government issued a “shoot-on-sight order”. The march was organized by tribals, who form about 40 per cent of the state’s population, after the Manipur High Court last month asked the state government to send a recommendation to the Center within four weeks on the demand for ST status by the Meti community .
Meanwhile, the Indian Army said that the situation in Moreh and Kangpokpi was brought under control and is stable. “All efforts are underway to restore normalcy in Imphal and Churachandpur. Precautionary build-up of additional troops is underway in Manipur. Additional columns from Nagaland were also redeployed. In addition, the Indian Air Force is preparing to induct additional Indian Will operate flights to. Army contingents will start from Guwahati and Tezpur tonight.”
The Indian Army also said that fake videos on the security situation in Manipur, including the video of the attack on the Assam Rifles post, are being circulated by hostile elements for vested interests. Army requested everyone to trust content through official and verified sources only.
Here are the top ten developments so far:
- Fifty-five columns of the Army and the Assam Rifles have been deployed to prevent widespread rioting. More troops are being brought in from Nagaland by road, while the Indian Air Force is flying in reinforcements from Guwahati and Tezpur.
- The Manipur government issued a ‘shoot at sight’ order in extreme cases in the violence-hit state. According to the governor’s order, “shoot on sight” may be used when persuasion, warning and reasonable force “have exhausted and the situation could not be controlled”.
- Internet services, including mobile internet, have been suspended across the state for five days with immediate effect to prevent disturbance of peace and public order. The Manipur government also ordered Reliance Jio Fiber, Airtel Extreme, BSNL etc to block broadband and data services.
- The Manipur government appointed retired IPS officer and former CRPF chief Kuldeep Singh as its security advisor in the wake of rising violence between tribals and the majority Meitei community in the state. The 1986 batch Indian Police Service officer retired from service in September last year. He also headed the National Investigation Agency (NIA), in an additional capacity, as its Director General.
- According to officials, the central government is closely monitoring the situation in Manipur and paramilitary forces are being mobilized from neighboring states. The Center on its part airlifted teams of the Rapid Action Force (RAF), a special force to handle the riots, for deployment in the violence-hit areas of the northeastern state.
- Union Home Minister Amit Shah today reviewed the situation there through video conference with top officials of Manipur and the Central Government, besides Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh as well as Chief Ministers Neiphiu Rio (Nagaland), Zoramthanga (Mizoram) Had a meeting with and Himanta Biswa Sarma (Assam).
- Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today called an urgent meeting with officials to discuss the situation in Manipur and to check the safety of students studying in Meghalaya. He also directed the state government officials to evacuate students of the state studying in various educational institutions in violence-hit Manipur. The Meghalaya government has also activated a helpline number 1800-345-3644 for students living in Manipur and parents in case of emergency.
- The Nagaland government is also closely monitoring the prevailing law and order situation in Manipur and has opened a helpline for citizens of the state requiring evacuation from Manipur. Anyone requiring any kind of assistance has been asked to contact State Police Control Room, Kohima through phone number 3702242511, fax: 0370 2242512 or mobile/whatsapp: 08794833041 or email. firstname.lastname@example.org And NSDMA Helpline Number: 0370 2381122/ 0370 2291123.
- West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed concern over the situation and urged the Prime Minister and Home Minister to take steps to restore peace in the northeastern state. He said, “I am very concerned about the situation in Manipur. Politics and elections can wait, but first our beautiful state Manipur has to be protected. I appeal to PM (Narendra) Modi and Amit Shah (Home Minister) to restore peace there.” I urge you to take steps to do so.” If we burn humanity today, tomorrow we will not be human,” Banerjee tweeted.
- Over 9,000 people were rescued and around 5,000 have been shifted to safe houses in Churachandpur, while 2,000 have been evacuated from Imphal Valley and the border town of Moreh in Tengnoupal district.
(With PTI inputs)