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Manipur: Curfew Back After Mob Tries to Loot Arms

The forces were ambushed twice Tuesday while moving to Moreh, and eventually a convoy of 60 commandos reached.

Family mourns Manipur cop Ch Anand Kumar, who was killed Tuesday in an attack, in Imphal on Wednesday. PTI

Full curfew was reimposed in both districts of Imphal Wednesday which saw a mob attempt to storm the First Manipur Rifles Campus even as 44 people, most of whom police said were Myanmar nationals, were detained in the Indo-Myanmar border town of Moreh.

Tensions were high on Wednesday in both Moreh and Imphal, 100 km apart, as locals reported hearing firing in Imphal city in the evening. A security official said that a mob had attempted to storm the First Manipur Rifles Campus which led to an exchange of fire with the security forces, who successfully stalled any attempt of weapon looting, according to an official.

This incident comes after a Meitei officer with the Manipur Police, Chingtham Anand Kumar, was shot dead Tuesday in Moreh, which is dominated by the Kuki-Zomi community. The 3,000-odd Meitei residents of the town have fled since violence erupted.

The state cabinet had decided to launch a joint operation in Moreh and adjoining areas to nab Kumar’s killers. Additional forces of Manipur police commandos were also deployed in Moreh.

The forces were ambushed twice Tuesday while moving to Moreh, and eventually a convoy of 60 commandos reached.

Manipur police stated Wednesday that 44 people have been detained following search operations by security forces in Moreh and 32 of these people were “found to be Myanmar-ese/Burmese”.

“10 Myanmarese citizens from Moreh were taken to Foreigner Detention Centre, Sajiwa,” read a statement by the Manipur police.

Tensions have now escalated in the Kuki-Zomi dominated hill areas which had already been pushing back against the presence of Manipur police in Moreh, alleging bias against their community in the ongoing conflict.

Reacting to the increase in deployment of Manipur police in Moreh, multiple Kuki-Zomi community organisations have supported a call for a 48-hour shutdown starting Thursday midnight in areas dominated by the community.

A “shutdown notice” issued by Kuki Student’s Organization stated, “while the demand for withdrawal of state forces in the aforesaid town (Moreh) has been gaining momentum following their excesses and total disregard to civil rights and liberties, the moves of the state government in forcefully deploying a convoy of 19 vehicles carrying Manipur police commandos and the Arambai Tenggol added more fuel to the fire in already volatile situation.”

Meanwhile, Chief Minister N Biren Singh led his council of ministers, MLAs and other top officials in paying tributes to Kumar Wednesday afternoon.

© The Indian Express Pvt Ltd


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