CBI to probe if violence in Manipur was pre-planned

Manipur selects six cases for CBI to investigate, out of 3,734 FIRs; Home Minister Amit Shah asks Naga MLAs to help bridge Meitei-Kuki divide; Union Home Ministry approves ₹101.75 crore for those displaced in violence

June 09, 2023 02:07 am | Updated 09:03 am IST - NEW DELHI

Security personnel conduct a joint combing operation in a sensitive area in Manipur on June 8, 2023.

Security personnel conduct a joint combing operation in a sensitive area in Manipur on June 8, 2023. | Photo Credit: ANI

The Manipur government on Thursday recommended six cases to the Centre for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has also sanctioned a rehabilitation package of ₹101.75 crore for the violence-hit State.

Earlier, on Wednesday, Union Home Minister It was decided that they would act as a bridge between the Kuki and Meitei communities who have been embroiled in ethnic violence since May 3.

Editorial | Alarming turn: On the situation in Manipur

A Naga bridge

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the Naga legislators said: “In the meeting with the Home Minister, several measures for peace and normalcy were discussed. Naga MLAs were told to act as a bridge between the Kuki and Meiteis and help bring peace to the State.”

The Manipur Assembly has 60 seats, with 40 Meitei MLAs, 10 Kuki MLAs and 10 Naga MLAs. While the Kuki MLAs — including those from the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) — have demanded a separate administration, the Nagas have distanced themselves from their demand. The six hill districts where no curfew has been imposed are mostly Naga-dominated areas. 

Also read: Manipur unrest | The embers of Meitei-Kuki conflict still glow 

Conspiracy case

The six cases recommended for a CBI probe include a common conspiracy case to investigate whether the ethnic violence was pre-planned. 

As on June 3, as many as 3,734 First Information Reports (FIR) were registered in Manipur. The ethnic violence between the Kuki and Meitei communities has claimed more than 100 lives since May 3. The largest number of cases — 1,257 cases — were registered in the Imphal West district, followed by Kangpokpi (932), and Bishnupur (844), according to information provided by the Chief Minister’s office. 

Explained | What is behind Manipur’s widespread unrest?  

“The six cases were selected by the Manipur government and the CBI has been asked to probe the cases,” said a senior government official. The official added that the MHA had written to the Department of Personnel Training (DoPT) seeking a CBI probe. “The DoPT has forwarded the request to CBI and the agency will be notifying the cases soon,” said the official. 

Peace for 48 hours

Kuldiep Singh, security adviser to the Manipur government, said on Thursday that the situation in Manipur had remained peaceful and under control, with no incidence of violence reported in the last 48 hours.

“To provide relief to the displaced people in Manipur, MHA has approved a ₹101.75 crore relief package,” Mr. Singh said. During his visit to Manipur from May 29 to June 1, the Home Minister had directed the State government to send a request to the MHA for a relief package for the displaced people. Over 35,000 people have been displaced in the violence. 

Opinion | A critical juncture in Manipur 

Recovering stolen arms

Mr. Singh added that 28 more arms had been recovered since Wednesday . While 27 arms, 245 ammunitions and 41 bombs were recovered from the Porompat Police Station jurisdiction of the Imphal East district, one weapon and two bombs were seized in Bishnupur district. “A total of 896 arms and 11,763 ammunitions and 200 bombs of different kind recovered till date,” Mr. Singh said. Since the violence began on May 3, more than 4,000 weapons have been looted from police armouries and camps in Manipur. 

The Manipur security advisor said that curfew had been relaxed for 12 hours in five valley districts and eight to ten hours in the neighboring hill districts. “Movement of essential items along NH-37 is ensured. 294 empty vehicles have left Imphal for Jiribam today. A total of 220 loaded vehicles have left Noney and 198 loaded tankers and trucks have left Jiribam today,” Mr. Singh said in a press statement. 

He added that senior officers have visited and are camping in vulnerable areas. Further, joint teams of State and Central forces have intensified combing operations in many parts of the State. 

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