The deployment of a large contingent of Central armed forces and a call for peace by Union Home Minister Amit Shah has led to a reduction in the intensity of violence in Manipur in the past few days, though incidents have not completely stopped. Clashes between the Meitei and Kuki communities have claimed 100 lives and displaced 35,000 so far.
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On Friday, 16 people were injured when suspected extremists attacked Phayeng and Kangchup Chingkhong villages in Imphal West district.
“Peace efforts are on in Manipur in close coordination with the civil society. Normalcy is returning in the State. There is no incident of firing and burning in Manipur in the past 24 hours. Besides, joint security forces, including Army and Assam Rifles, have recovered 35 arms and 88 bombs in different operations in the past 24 hours,” Kuldiep Singh, Security Adviser to Manipur government, said on Saturday evening.
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Earlier, there were also reports of a mob setting fire to the Don Bosco Celestian Novitiate, a Catholic training centre at Yairipok Ngariyan in Kangpokpi district. The centre is about 30 km from State capital Imphal.
“A mob of some 3,000 people burnt the 15-acre centre down following a rumour that the property would be given to the security forces for use. Almost nothing is left of the centre, lying vacant since 2001,” Father Joseph K.S., associated with the centre, told The Hindu. There were no reports of loss of life or injury.
This centre has often been the target of extremists in Manipur. On May 15, 2001, members of two extremist outfits gunned down three Catholic priests there for failing to give extortion money.