The situation across violence-hit Manipur is improving, with no fresh reports of any untoward incident, while curfew has been relaxed in all the 11 districts where it was clamped, officials said on May 9.
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on May 8 said that 60 people were killed, 231 injured and 1,700 houses including religious places burnt in the ethnic violence that rocked the northeastern State for the past few days.
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“The situation is improving all over the State, with no reports of violence in the last 24 hours… The curfew has been relaxed for four hours in Imphal West and Imphal East from 5 a.m. today. Similar relaxation is being provided in the other nine affected districts,” a senior official said.
Violent clashes broke out in the northeastern State after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the 10 hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
The clashes were preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.
Meiteis account for about 53% of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals — Nagas and Kukis — constitute another 40% of the population and reside in the hill districts.
Compensation for families
Addressing a press conference in Imphal on May 8 evening, the Chief Minister said that the State Cabinet resolved to provide an ex-gratia of ₹5 lakh each to the families of the deceased, ₹2 lakh each to those who suffered major injuries and ₹25,000 each to people with minor injuries.
“These are very very unfortunate incidents. I appeal to people to bring peace together at the earliest,” Mr. Singh said.
He said that 1,700 houses, including temples and churches, have been burnt down in the violence.
Mr. Singh said ₹2 lakh will be paid to those whose houses were destroyed, and the State Government will rebuild them.
“In the wake of the unfortunate incident that happened in Manipur, more than 20,000 people who were left stranded in relief camps have been moved to safety till today. Another 10,000 stranded people will be transported to safety as soon as possible.... Human lives are precious and destroying homes and properties are unacceptable,” Mr. Singh said.
The CM said 1,041 guns were looted from security force personnel, out of which 214 have been recovered.
The Manipur Government has initiated many steps to bring back stranded people from different parts of the State such as Churachandpur, Ukhrul, Imphal West, Imphal East and Kangpokpi districts, he said.
“The SPs have been directed to identify vulnerable areas and ensure round-the-clock provision of full-proof security and protection for land and property, in the absence of their owners. They have been asked to take immediate action as per law against persons attempting to loot or occupy such land and property,” Mr. Singh added.