The Manipur police have detained over 13,000 people, holding them in preventive custody, and destroyed nearly 290 bunkers over the past fortnight, to bring a semblance of law and order in the violence-hit State.
The police have also identified 12 to 14 people who can be seen in a viral video of the sexual violence incident that occurred on May 4 in Thoubal district, a police source said on Sunday. Three women were stripped and paraded, and one of them was raped. The video of the incident surfaced on social media last week, provoking outrage across the country.
Six people have been arrested in the case so far, including a juvenile, Manipur police said in a tweet. “There are others who are not visible in the video but are involved in the crime. Raids are on. Some of them have gone into hiding,” the source said.
The source added that the binding down of people — a type of detention — continues, even as sporadic incidents of violence continue to be reported, 80 days after ethnic violence between the Kuki and Meitei communities erupted in the State on May 3.
On Saturday night, after a school was burnt down in Churachandpur, the two communities fired at each other intermittently in villages along the border of the Bishnupur and Churachandpur districts. One person is said to have been injured in the incident.
Security forces have repeatedly flagged the huge number of weapons and ammunition looted from police armouries that are being used by civilians to fire at each other. Only 1,600 weapons out of over 4,000 looted police weapons have been recovered or surrendered so far.
The source said that though the situation remains volatile, the police are keeping a close watch on the movement of people. “People are being stopped and asked to explain their movement or presence in a particular area. This is to prevent them from inciting violence by moving in large groups. Those who cannot explain are bound down to be detained for the day,” the source explained.
Almost 290 bunkers have been destroyed, both in the Kuki-dominated hills and the Meitei-dominated valley regions, the source said. The rudimentary bunkers, varying from sandbags to tin boards, were set up by both communities in the foothills, or in areas where their settlements were adjacent or in proximity to each other.
Case for spreading false news
The police on Sunday registered another case for spreading false news after receiving a complaint from a functionary of a political party. The complaint stated that a picture of him and his son was collaged with a screenshot of the May 4 video, along with a caption that they were directly involved in the crime, and uploaded on various social media platforms, the police said.
The case was registered at the Cyber Police station on charges of spreading false news with intent to cause injury, damage to reputation and create serious breach of law and order. Attempts are being made to identify and arrest the culprits, the police said.
More than 140 people have been killed and over 54,000 displaced since the violence began on May 3.
Rail connectivity eases supply situation
Meanwhile, the first goods train loaded with essential commodities for the State was flagged off from the Guwahati goods yards on Sunday, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said. In a tweet, he said that it was a “significant milestone”, noting that the train, bound for the Khongsang railway station at Tamenglong, “marks a new era of faster and efficient connectivity for Manipur.” The train is expected to reach on Monday.
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In the absence of any rail connectivity to Manipur so far, the valley areas have been dependent on National Highway-2, emanating from Dimapur in Nagaland, for the supply of essential commodities. The NH-2, which passes through the hills, was blocked for over 60 days by Kuki groups, obstructing supplies to the Meitei-dominated valley areas. During his visit to the State in June, Home Minister Amit Shah had announced that the Khongsang railway station would be operational soon.
Manipur Police on Sunday registered a case for spreading false news after receiving a complaint from a functionary of a political party. The complaint stated that a picture of him and his son was collaged with a screenshot of the video along with a caption that they were directly involved in the crime was uploaded on various social media platform, police said.
Police said a case has been registered at Cyber Police station spreading false news with intent to cause injury, damage to his reputation and create a serious breach of law and order. An attempt is made to identify and arrest the culprits, police said.