Situation calm but tense in Imphal day after attack by mob on Manipur Rifles camp

Several markets in the city remained closed but educational institutions, government offices and the Manipur High Court were functioning normally, while vehicles were seen plying on roads after the curfew was relaxed from 10 a.m.

November 02, 2023 01:00 pm | Updated 01:22 pm IST - Imphal

The situation in Manipur's capital Imphal remained calm but tense on November 2, a day after security forces fired several rounds in the air to disperse a large mob of more than 2,000 people who tried to loot an armoury within the camp of the 1 Manipur Rifles.

Several markets in the city remained closed but educational institutions, government offices and the Manipur High Court were functioning normally, while vehicles were seen plying on roads after the curfew was relaxed from 10 a.m.

Manipur CM Biren Singh vows action against suspected extremists for killing police officer in Moreh

The administration deployed additional State and Central forces at major junctions and police personnel were seen patrolling the area near the Manipur Rifles camp.

"Yesterday's attempt to loot arms and ammunitions at 1st MR Battalion by armed miscreants was repulsed by combined security forces effectively," the State police said on November 2.

The mob targeted the Manipur Rifles camp, close to the Raj Bhavan and the Chief Minister's Office in Imphal West district on Wednesday.

Responding to the situation, the district authorities in Imphal East and West immediately withdrew the daily curfew relaxation from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. District Magistrate Imphal East, however, relaxed the curfew restriction from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Such a restriction was also lifted in Imphal West from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The "restriction of movements of persons outside their respective residences has been relaxed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday" but "the relaxation does not apply to any gathering or large scale movement of persons or sit in protests or rally which is unlawful in nature," the government orders said.

Tension had been brewing in the State capital after an SDPO — an officer of the rank of deputy superintendent of police belonging to the majority community — was shot dead by tribal militants at Moreh town on Tuesday morning.

In another incident, three police personnel suffered bullet injuries when militants ambushed a convoy of the State force at Sinam in Tengnoupal district on Tuesday afternoon. The convoy was sent to Moreh as reinforcement to assist in conducting operations.

Meanwhile, the Kuki Students Organisation (KSO) has called a 48-hour shutdown in the State from midnight of November 1 to protest against the deployment of additional police commandos in Moreh town in Tengnoupal district, where the sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) was shot dead on October 31.

The State has remained gripped by recurring bouts of violence since ethnic clashes first erupted in May. More than 180 people have been killed since then.

The clashes have occurred over a number of grievances that both sides have against the other, however, the flashpoint of the crisis has been a move to give Meiteis Scheduled Tribe status, which has since been rolled back and an attempt to turf out tribals living in protected forest areas.

Meiteis account for about 53% of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40% and reside mainly in the hill districts.

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