Imphal: In wake of fresh violence in Manipur’s Imphal East district on Monday, army and paramilitary forces further tightened security while a period of curfew relaxation has been curbed, officials said.
A police official said that some armed miscreants went to the New Checkon area of Imphal East and threatened the shop owners to close down their shops while torching two houses.
As soon as news of these incidents spread, people of other communities came out and challenged them. The irate mob also beat up one of the miscreants while the others managed to run away.
A defence spokesman said that three Army and Assam Rifles columns along with Manipur Police and Rapid Action Force were immediately rushed to the spot and quickly cordoned off the area.
“Proactive and swift action resulted in immediate control of crowds which gathered in the tension ridden areas. Consequently, three suspects along with two single barrel 12 bore guns were apprehended and handed over to the police,” he said.
Imphal falls across the Imphal East and Imphal West districts, and to control the situation, the district administrations have cut short the curfew relaxation period by three hours in both districts.
The Manipur government on Sunday night extended the suspension of internet services till May 26 following reports of arson and attacks and to prevent spreading of rumours and videos, photos, and messages, which might affect the law and order situation in the ethnic-violence hit northeastern state.
It had first suspended mobile internet on May 3 after the state witnessed unprecedented violent clashes in 10 of the 16 districts during and after the ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ called by the All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur (ATSUM) to oppose the demand for inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe category.
Amid the shortage of essential items, transport fuel and life-saving drugs, various government and non government facilities have also been badly affected due to the internet suspension across the mountainous state, making life more miserable for the people.
Many organisations including the opposition Congress, and the media have been demanding immediate restoration of internet service in Manipur.
In the recent ethnic violence in Manipur so far 71 people have been killed, 300 people got injured including police personnel, some grievously. Out of 16 districts of the state, 11 districts were affected and out of which 6 were badly impacted. Over 25,000 people were displaced, nearly 1,700 houses were burnt, and more than 200 vehicles had been destroyed.