ANI Photo | Manipur: 22 apprehended for setting several houses on fire

After clashes were reported from several areas in Manipur, the Indian Army on May 29 said as many as 22 miscreants have been apprehended after being caught in the act of burning houses in Sanasabi, Gwaltabi and Shabunkhol Khunao villages in the hilly region of YKPI in Imphal.

“Responding to specific intelligence about armed miscreants venturing out for burning of houses in Sanasabi, Gwaltabi and Shabunkhol Khunao in YKPI Bowl in the hilly region of Imphal East District of Manipur, Army mobilised columns on 28 May to establish multiple Mobile Vehicle Check Posts (MVCP) and undertake search operations in the area,” Army said in a statement adding the Army columns were fired upon from automatic weapon by miscreants who were trying to burn the houses while operating in the area.

The Indian Army further said that five 12-bore double-barrel and three single-barrel rifles, local weapons and war-like stores were recovered.

Earlier on May 28, clashes were reported from several areas in Manipur including at 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.

Five persons, including a Manipur Police Officer, were killed and a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA’s house was allegedly vandalised and over 1,000 arms and ammunition were reportedly looted by a mob from armouries of Manipur Rifles and IRB on May 28 while combined Central and state security forces gunned down more than 30 suspected Kuki terrorists in the state in last 48 hours.

However, Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on May 28 said as many as 40 ‘terrorists’ have been killed so far by security forces during their operations to check violent incidents and attacks on civilians and restore ‘peace’ in the state.

“We have taken strict action. Till now we have reports that around 40 terrorists have been eliminated,” Biren Singh said while addressing the media at the Darbar Hall of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.

However, union home minister Amit Shah is set to arrive for a four-day visit to the state to assess the situation and plan further steps to restore normalcy there.

Amit Shah will arrive in Manipur’s capital city Imphal by Monday evening and stay in the state till June 1.

The home minister will hold several rounds of security meetings during his stay in Manipur to assess the situation and plan further steps to restore normalcy, said sources.

There are also reports of mob looting all arms and ammunition from the armouries of 7 Manipur Rifles at Khabeisoi, 2nd Manipur Rifles at Deulahane and 3rd India Reserve Battalion at Thoubal.

As per security forces, fierce encounters are on between suspected Kuki militants and security personnel at the Kadangband and nearby Singda areas in the Imphal West district. Apart from attacking civilians in several foothills of Manipur, the militants also torched over 200 houses in three villages near Sugnu in the Kakching district late Saturday night.

Manipur faced violence on May 3 during a rally organised by the All Tribals Students Union (ATSU) to protest the demand for the inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category. The march was organised in protest against the demand for inclusion of the state’s Meitei community in the ST category, following an April 19 Manipur High Court directive.

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