HM Shah dials Manipur CM; sends more troops to control violence

Over 7,500 people have been rescued by the forces from the violence-hit areas, and more people are being shifted to safer places.

NEW DELHI | Updated: 04 May, 2023 12:00 pm IST
Union Home minister Amit Shah

NEW DELHI: Union home minister Amit Shah spoke to Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Thursday morning to assess the situation in the state following incidents of arson and clashes during a tribal march, sources said.

The home ministry is closely monitoring the situation and has deployed sufficient numbers of security forces in Manipur, including Assam Rifles, CRPF, and Army personnel. Additional companies of Rapid Action Force have been sent by the Center to maintain security and normalcy.

According to sources, so far, 7,500 people have been rescued by the forces from the violence-hit areas, and more people are being shifted to safer places. The Indian Army and Assam Rifles were deployed to control the situation in Manipur after violence broke out during a tribal agitation.

On Wednesday, violence broke out during the ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ called by the All Tribal Student Union Manipur (ATSUM) in the Torbung area of Churachandpur district to protest the demand of non-tribal Meiteis, who dominate the Imphal Valley, for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. Thousands of agitators participated in the rally, during which violence between tribals and non-tribals was reported.

In response, the Manipur government suspended mobile internet across the state for the next five days and clamped curfew under Section 144 CrPC in various districts with immediate effect. Curfew has been imposed in non-tribal-dominated Imphal West, Kakching, Thoubal, Jiribam, and Bishnupur districts, and tribal-dominated Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, and Tengnoupal districts.

The situation in Manipur is the result of two issues. Firstly, chief minister Biren Singh’s move to protect the forest has faced resistance from illegal immigrants and drug cartels. Secondly, the Manipur High Court’s recent direction to the state government to consider the inclusion of Meitei in ST has led to an outburst from the tribal community.

Meanwhile, Olympian Mary Kom expressed regret over the incident and called for restraint and calm.

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