Last Updated: May 04, 2023, 16:08 IST
Indian Army and Assam Rifles personnel rescue civilians from violence-hit areas, in Manipur. (PTI)
The assessment by agencies suggests fault lines between the warring Meiteis and Kukis are affecting the administration too
The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked the Manipur administration to strictly enforce law and order in the state and “not spare any lawbreaker” after a security review with all stakeholders amid the violence raging in the state.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Thursday morning and was briefed about the situation on the ground. At least 14 companies of Rapid Action Force, CRPF, and BSF were dispatched to Manipur soon after the call. Officials said a review was conducted in the afternoon with all stakeholders — district administration, state DGP, chief secretary, DG of CRPF, BSF, home secretary and other MHA officials.
“There are enough forces on the ground and more are being sent. But the local administration must deploy them effectively,” a government official told News18.
Sources indicated that violence in Imphal has really concerned the Centre. As per local police, 3-4 houses were burnt down on Thursday morning, leading to a flare-up. An ambulance was also burnt down at Singjamei Bazar, while five vehicles were set on fire on Tiddim Road. Spot pictures show burnt vehicles two kilometres from the airport.
Police said the unrest continued through the day, culminating in four houses being burnt down in Khongnang Ani Karak around 2.30pm.
“The situation in Imphal remains volatile and the authorities are taking all necessary measures to control the situation and maintain law and order,” a police statement said.
The assessment by agencies suggests fault lines between the warring Meiteis and Kukis are affecting the administration too. “Clear instructions have been given not to show sympathy to any lawbreaker, whichever group he or she may belong to,” the official said.
He added that the Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) in such a situation is very clear that forces can resort to the use of force against lawbreakers in the interest of law and order.
More than 30 columns of Army and Assam Rifles and around 14 companies of paramilitary are at the disposal of the local administration. RAF teams airlifted from Hindon Airport landed in Manipur on Thursday and more forces from Delhi and neighbouring states like Tripura are also being sent by the Centre.
So far, over 10,000 people have been rescued by the forces from the violence-hit areas and given shelter and more people are being shifted to safer places.
In a statement on Thursday, Biren Singh said that “precious lives have been lost” and this “incident is a result of a misunderstanding between two sections of society”. He added: “During the last 24 hours, some incidents of clashes, vandalism and arson have been reported in Imphal, Bishnupur and Moreh etc. Precious lives have been lost besides damage of property, of residence, which is very very unfortunate.”
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