IMPHAL: Women activists in strife-torn Manipur were urged by the Indian Army not to block their way or interfere in the operations being conducted by security forces in the state, while appealing to people to extend their help in restoring peace in this Northeastern state.
Such interference was termed "unwarranted” and detrimental to prompt response by security forces. Late on Monday, the Army's Spears Corps also shared a video on Twitter which featured several such incidents comprising women blocking operations by security forces in Manipur.
The Army issued the statement two days after a confrontation between the Army and a women-led mob occurred in Itham village of Imphal East district. The stand-off resulted in the security force being forced to let go of 12 militants cooped up in the village.
"Women activists in #Manipur are deliberately blocking routes and interfering in Operations of Security Forces. Such unwarranted interference is detrimental to the timely response by Security Forces during critical situations to save lives and property. Indian Army appeals to all sections of the population to support our endeavours in restoring peace. Help us to Help Manipur," a tweet said.
The confrontation in Itham went on through the day on Saturday and only came to an end after the operational commander took a "mature decision" in this regard. He took into account the sensitive nature of the issue, in using force against a big infuriated mob led by women and likelihood of casualties resulting from such action, officials said.
Hiding in the village were twelve cadre of the Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL), a Meitei rebel group responsible for a number of attacks on security forces, which included an ambush on a 6 Dogra unit in 2015, the officials said. The security personnel had to leave the village with the seized arms and ammunition in tow.
The ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki communities in the state has claimed more than 100 lives so far. Clashes erupted after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' organised in the state’s hill districts on May 3, to protest against demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status by the majority Meitei community.