At least 8 vehicles torched, civilians in distress as Manipur in shambles

Violence on Monday spread to Senapati district of Manipur with two vehicles being torched even as indefinite curfew remained in force in Imphal East district and mobile data services suspended after protests over economic blockade by the United Naga Council.

Amid heightened tension, unidentified persons torched two vehicles including a passenger bus at Naga Taphou area in Senapati district this morning, a police officer said.

On Sunday night, four vehicles of former minister Marung Makunga were vandalised at Saombung in Imphal East district, the police said.

The police are on high alert to contain spread of violence in the wake of Saturday’s incident at Imphal-Ukhrul Road during which 22 vehicles were vandalised by a mob.

Mobile internet services were snapped till December 25 and Imphal East district was brought under indefinite curfew till further orders on Sunday after locals resorted to violence and vandalised vehicles on Imphal-Ukhrul road while protesting against the ongoing economic blockade by the United Naga Council (UNC) on the National Highways since November 1.

The landlocked state has been experiencing severe hardship as essential items are not available since the blockage started on November 1.  UNC imposed an indefinite economic blockade on the two national highways that serve as lifeline for the state.

The blockade was imposed following the state government’s announcement of formation of seven new districts, four of which have been formally inaugurated.

Tension in the state escalated after militants ambushed Manipur Police and other state forces in the last few days that left three policemen dead and 14 others injured last Thursday.

The attack was followed by triple bomb blasts at Nagaram area in Imphal West district allegedly by Manipur Naga People’s Front the very next day.

In another incident, suspected militants overpowered a small outpost of Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) at Nungkao area on Sunday in Tamenglong district and fled with nine service weapons.

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