Security tightened ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s 3-day visit to Manipur
Ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah's three-day visit to Manipur on Monday evening, security has been further tightened in the recently hit state.
IMPHAL: Ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah's three-day visit to Manipur on Monday evening, security has been further tightened in the recently hit state. Earlier in the day, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, accompanied by Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai and other top officials, reviewed the security situation. Except for some minor incidents, there were no major incidents of violence reported in the 11 hill districts. The curfew, which was imposed after the ethnic violence first broke out on May 3 in these districts, continues to remain on Monday, including in Imphal East and Imphal West.
A top state government official said that Amit Shah is expected to hold several rounds of security meetings to assess the prevailing situation, speak with all stakeholders and civil society organisations (CSOs), and finalise strategies to restore peace and normalcy at the earliest. The Army, Central Para-Military, Manipur Police Commando, and Rapid Action Force of Manipur Police personnel continued combing operations in the Imphal valley and surrounding districts, the official said. Around 140 columns of the Indian Army and Assam Rifles, comprising around 10,000 troopers, had to be deployed to curb the ethnic violence and bring back normalcy in the northeastern state.
Meanwhile, Nityanand Rai, who has been camping in Manipur since May 25, visited some districts and held a series of meetings with various CSOs, influential community leaders, and common people belonging to different communities. He told the media in Imphal that the recent unrest would affect development and welfare activities in the state.
He said all grievances, demands, problems, and issues would be resolved through talks and a peaceful process, and people of different communities must have faith in the government and shun all forms of violence. Defence sources said that responding to specific information about the presence of some armed miscreants venturing with the intention to carry out attacks on the security forces in the area of the City Convention Centre, Imphal East District, the Army mobilised columns on Sunday night to establish multiple Mobile Vehicle Check Posts (MVCP) in the area.
An MVCP noticed a suspected passenger car approaching with four passengers in it on Sunday night. On being challenged, the miscreants got out of the car and attempted to flee, but they were apprehended. This timely act by the troops on the ground could prevent the occurrence of a major untoward incident in the area, a defence PRP said. An INSAS rifle with magazine, 60 rounds of 5.56 mm ammunition, a Chinese hand grenade, and one detonator were also recovered.
The miscreants were later handed over to the Manipur Police. Widespread ethnic clashes, which have claimed over 75 lives and injured more than 300 others, broke out in Manipur's 11 of the 16 districts after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) category status. The ethnic violence was preceded by agitations and tension over the government's eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve and protected forest lands. (IANS)