Mob storms SP office in Manipur’s Churachandpur after head constable from Kuki-Zo community was suspended

The Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum, an umbrella body of Kuki-Zo people, said one person was shot dead by security forces and at least 25 others were injured

February 16, 2024 12:31 am | Updated 11:58 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The Superintendent of Police office in Churachandpur district of Manipur. Photo: Google Maps/Jake Kipgen

The Superintendent of Police office in Churachandpur district of Manipur. Photo: Google Maps/Jake Kipgen

A mob stormed the office of Superintendent of Police (SP) and the mini-Secretariat in Churachandpur district of Manipur on Thursday, hours after a head constable from the Kuki-Zo community was suspended for “grave misconduct.”

“Mob numbering approx. 300–400 attempted to storm the office of SP CCP today, pelting stones, etc. The SF [security forces] including the RAF [Rapid Action Force], is responding appropriately by firing tear gas shells to control the situation. Things are under watch..,” the Manipur Police posted on X.

Earlier in the day, Churachandpur SP Shivanand Surve suspended head constable Siamlalpaul based on a viral video on social media which showed him posing and sitting with “armed miscreants” and “village volunteers” on February 14. “This tantamount to very grave misconduct, being a member of the disciplined police force,” an order by the SP said.

Following the suspension, a mob of around 400 stormed the SP office, setting it on fire. Soon violence spread to other parts of the city and arson was reported from mini-Secretariat.

The Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF), an umbrella body of the Kuki-Zo people, said in a statement that one person was shot dead by the security forces and at least 25 others were injured.

The ITLF said the SP would not be allowed to remain in any tribal area if he could not act with fairness, giving an ultimatum to the officer to leave the district within 24 hours. 

Editorial | Dangerous status quo: On continuing hostilities in Manipur

“ Despite multiple evidence of the Meitei police collaborating with Meitei militants and engaging in violence against tribal communities, no action has been taken against them. In contrast, a Kuki-Zo tribal policeman was swiftly suspended based on a single screengrab,” the ITLF said.

The incident comes after a police armoury was looted in Imphal East on February 12 when a person was shot dead by the security forces.

Manipur has been affected by ethnic violence between the Meitei people and the tribal Kuki-Zo people since May 3, 2023. The ongoing violence has displaced thousands of people and at least 200 people have been killed. 

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