Fresh Clashes Break Out In Manipur Ahead Of Amit Shah's Visit, Five Including Policeman Killed
Union Home Minister Amit Shah will embark on a three-day visit to Manipur on Monday for an on-the-spot study of the situation to find a solution to the ongoing ethnic clashes.
At least five persons including a policeman were killed in different instances of firing upon civilians and clashes between terrorists and security forces in Manipur on Sunday. The latest clashes, which came a day ahead of Union Minister Amit Shah's visit to the northeastern state, began after the Indian Army commenced combing operations to de-arm communities in order to bring peace.
Army and paramilitary personnel continued combing operations in the Imphal valley and surrounding districts, an official said on Monday. The Army operation is aimed at confiscating illegal caches of arms, he said. The latest incidents of violence prompted district authorities to shorten the 11-hour curfew relaxation period in Imphal East and West districts to just six and a half hours.
Talking to reporters after the clashes broke out, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Sunday said nearly 40 armed terrorists involved in torching houses and firing at civilians have been killed by security forces since they began an operation to bring peace to the northeastern state beset by ethnic rioting. He also said that there had been cases of armed terrorists firing at civilians with AK-47s, M-16, and sniper rifles.
Singh appealed to the public not to hinder the movement of security personnel and urged them to have "faith in the government and support the security forces."
"We have experienced hardship for so long and we will never allow the state to disintegrate," he said.
Meanwhile, Amit Shah will embark on a four-day visit to Manipur on Monday for an on-the-spot study of the situation to find a solution to the ongoing ethnic clashes.
The ethnic clashes, which have so far claimed more than 75 lives in Manipurm, broke out 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.
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 and mobile internet was suspended to bring back normalcy in the northeastern state.
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