Army, paramilitary forces deployed in violence-hit Manipur, Amit Shah dials Manipur CM

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IMPHAL: Army and paramilitary forces have been deployed in Manipur and flag marches are being held to control the situation after violence erupted in parts of the state during an agitation on May 3.

Violence had broken out in areas of Churachandpur, Imphal and KPI and the Army and Assam Rifles were requisitioned on the night of May 3 and on May 4 according to the Indian Army.

“Responding to the request of the civil administration in Manipur, Army/Assam Rifles immediately deployed an adequate number of columns for area domination in all affected areas on the evening of May 3. Actions to evacuate maximum people to safer areas and restore law and order are under way”, the Indian Army said.

The Indian Army and Assam Rifles undertook major rescue operations to evacuate more than 7,500 civilians of all communities relentlessly throughout the night to restore law and order in Manipur, it said. Columns of Army and Assam Rifles with state police intervened to control the situation the night. The violence was arrested by Thursday morning, a defence spokesperson said.

Approximately 4,000 people have provided shelter in various places in the Army, Assam Rifles and state government premises. Flag marches are being conducted to keep the situation under control and more people are being shifted from the violence-hit locations to safer places, a defence spokesperson said. The Army said efforts were being made to evacuate a maximum number of people to safer areas and restore law and order.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh and took stock of the situation in the state where law and order was disrupted after tribal groups took out rallies in several districts, sources said on Thursday.

In the telephonic conversation with Manipur CM, the Union Home Minister was apprised of the present situation and the steps being taken by the State government to control it, sources said. Sources said that the situation is being closely monitored by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

As per the sources, a few companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been dispatched to the northeastern state, however an adequate number of Army, Assam Rifles and other Central Armed Police Forces are already deployed in the violence-hit areas to control the situation. The RAF is a specialised wing of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to deal with riot and crowd control situations.

As far as the current situation is concerned, two issues in the state have led to the situation. First, chief minister Biren Singh’s move to protect the forest faces resistance from illegal immigrants and drug cartels, and the second is linked to the Manipur High Court’s recent direction to the state government to consider the inclusion of Meitei in the Scheduled Tribe category which has led to an outburst from the tribal community who are ST.

Amid incidents of fighting among youths and volunteers of different communities, the state government on May 3 suspended internet services in the entire state for the next five days and imposed a curfew under Section 144 of CrPC in various districts with immediate effect. Violence broke out on May 3 during a rally organised by the All Tribals Students Union (ATSU), Manipur, to protest the demand for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the Scheduled Tribe category. (ANI)

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