Manipur: Fresh clashes between militants and security forces in Manipur; 30 ‘terrorists’ killed, says CM N Biren Singh | India News
Earlier in the day, Army chief General Manoj Pande met Singh and discussed the current security situation in Manipur and the steps taken by the Army to restore peace.
Officials said that armed groups were being confronted by security forces at over half-a-dozen places across Manipur on Sunday. The latest clashes began after the Army commenced combing operations to de-arm communities in order to bring peace.
“In retaliatory and defensive operations against these terrorist groups who are using sophisticated arms against the civilian population, around 30 of these terrorists have been killed in different areas. A few have also been arrested by the security forces,” said Singh during a media briefing.
The CM claimed that the latest clashes were not between rival communities but between Kuki militants and security forces.
“According to our information, firing has been reported from Sugnu in Kakching, Kangvi in Churachandpur, Kangchup in Imphal West, Sagolmang in Imphal East, Nungoipokpi in Bishenpur, Khurkhul in Imphal West and YKPI in Kangpokpi,” said an official.
The house of BJP MLA Khwairakpam Raghumani Singh at Uripok in Imphal West was allegedly vandalised and his two vehicles were set on fire.
The Army and the Assam Rifles had launched multiple search operations in areas of Kangchuk, Motbung, Saikul, Pukhao and Sagolmang in Manipur in the wee hours of May 27 to track down any armed insurgents operating in these areas.
Ethnic clashes which have claimed over 75 lives first broke out in Manipur after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.
Meiteis account for about 53% of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribal Nagas and Kukis constitute another 40% of the population and reside in the hill districts.
Around 140 columns of the Indian Army and Assam Rifles, comprising over 10,000 personnel, besides those from other paramilitary forces had to be deployed to bring back normalcy in the Northeastern state.
(With inputs from agencies)