Army says women activists aiding Manipur rioters, releases evidence

Indian Army has released a video showing how women activists obstruct security operations and block roads to delay troop movement in violence-hit Manipur.

New Delhi | Updated: 27 June, 2023 2:00 pm IST
Indian Army has released a video showing how women activists obstruct security operations and block roads to delay troop movement in violence-hit Manipur.

NEW DELHI: Days after admitting that it had to let go several armed men in face of a massive gathering of women in East Imphal to “maintain peace”, the Indian Army has said that women activists were actively aiding rioters and obstructing security operations in violence-torn Manipur.

The Spears Corps of the Indian Army released a video on Twitter on Monday showcasing incidents of such interference and highlighting its detrimental impact on the timely response of security forces.

It said that women activists had been coming to rescue of armed rioters, digging roads to delay troop movement and not letting security forces discharge their duties.

It also issued an appeal, calling for cooperation to restore peace and normalcy in the northeastern state.

Army says women activists often dig up roads to delay movement of troops in riot affected areas of Manipur.

“Women activists in #Manipur are deliberately blocking routes and interfering in the operations of security forces. Such unwarranted interference is detrimental to the timely response by security during critical situations to save lives and property,” the Army tweeted.

“Help us to Help Manipur,” it appealed.

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This statement follows a recent standoff in Itham village, Imphal East, where a women-led mob of approximately more than 1200 people forced the Army to release 12 arrested cadres from the KYKL (Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup) insurgent group who had fired at two villages.

In Itham, when security forces tried to deploy additional columns in the area, their vehicles were blocked by the women-led mob. Troops then moved on foot and put up blockades. But they had to ultimately partially lift the blockade and let the miscreants go.

Photo shows a woman confronting with an Army officer in Manipur.

The Army had said that it took the measure to maintain peace in the area, considering the sensitivity of using force against a large angry mob led by women and the potential casualties resulting from such actions.

The insurgent group is responsible for a 2015 ambush on a 6 Dogra unit.

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Ethnic violence between the Meitei and Kuki communities in Manipur has claimed more than 100 lives thus far. The clashes erupted on May 3 following a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ organized in the hill districts to protest the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

Meiteis make up approximately 53 percent of Manipur’s population, residing predominantly in the Imphal Valley, while Nagas and Kukis, constituting around 40 percent, are the tribal communities residing in the hill districts.

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