The Indian Air Force has been undertaking continuous sorties from two airfields in Assam to keep a watch over Imphal and other violence-hit areas of Manipur.
Late on May 4 night, the Manipur Government appointed Ashutosh Sinha, the Additional Director-General of Police (Intelligence) as the operational commander for controlling the simmering situation and ensuring peace in the State.
An order issued by Manipur’s Home Commissioner, T. Ranjit Singh said Mr Sinha would work under the guidance and supervision of Kuldiep Singh, former Chief of the Central Reserve Police Force who was made the Security Adviser to the government of Manipur on May 4.
“In view of the prevailing law and order situation following the unwanted incidents that occurred after the organisation of the Tribal Solidarity March 2023 held on May 3, the Governor of Manipur is pleased to designate Ashutosh Sinha, IPS, ADGP (Intelligence), Manipur, as the overall Operational Commander to control and bring normalcy in the State,” the order read.
A defence spokesperson said the situation was brought under control through coordinated actions by all stakeholders by May 4 evening.
“The IAF is undertaking sorties from two airfields in Assam employing C17 Globemaster and AN32 aircraft,” he said.
The induction of the Army and the paramilitary Assam Rifles personnel for law-and-order duty in Manipur was commended on the night of May 4 and additional columns started area domination from the wee hours of May 5, the spokesperson said.
“Flag march in Churachandpur and other sensitive areas are being conducted and evacuation of civilians of all communities from affected areas continued throughout the night,” he said.
The armed forces have shifted more than 9,000 people to defence set-ups and government establishments for safety.
Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh, appealing for peace through a video message on May 4, said the violence has claimed a few lives and destroyed many villages.
There is no official data on the casualty but unofficial estimates put the number of dead at between 10 and 16.
Apart from targeting the houses of common people, mobs vandalised or burnt down the houses of senior police and administrative officers, a former Minister, a former MP, and a former Congress MLA in Imphal.
A former Minister and BJP legislator, Vungzagin Valte was hospitalised in a serious condition after a mob attacked his house and reportedly killed one of his security men.