Lieutenant General P. C. Nair, Director General of Assam Rifles on September 2 expressed optimism about the situation in Manipur. Despite sporadic incidents of violence still being reported in certain areas, Nair firmly believes that Manipur is on the path to better times, with the worst days seemingly behind.
The situation in Manipur has been a cause for concern, with violence erupting across the state. Nair provided insight into the early days of the crisis when over 212 incidents of violence occurred within Manipur's hills and valleys. The response by Assam Rifles was swift and comprehensive, with personnel deployed to quell violence, address shootings, and prevent the burning of homes.
During this tumultuous period, Assam Rifles established over 100 relief camps to provide aid to the affected population. These camps played a crucial role in supporting nearly 45,000 individuals who were relocated from both hills and valleys to ensure their safety. Furthermore, Assam Rifles set up 300 medical camps staffed by expert doctors and specialists, which have provided medical attention to around 12,000 individuals from both communities. The distribution of medicines, valued at 15 lakhs, was a vital part of these efforts.
In his statement, Nair stated the importance of engaging with civil societies from both communities and underscored the need for peaceful dialogue as the primary means to resolve the ongoing issues. He stated unequivocally, "Talking at the table is the only way."
Acknowledging the unique challenges faced by Assam Rifles in the Manipur crisis, Nair admitted that the situation was unprecedented for the force. Traditionally tasked with border guarding, insurgency control, and commercial operations, Assam Rifles found itself in uncharted territory. However, Nair commended the dedication and hard work of commanding officers who played a pivotal role in managing the crisis. This involved handling hostile mobs, mitigating community conflicts, and addressing property damage.
Nair also addressed media reports that have alleged biases within the security forces. He made it clear that all security forces, including the Indian Army, Assam Rifles, other Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), and Manipur Police, have operated under extremely challenging conditions. While misunderstandings may have arisen, Nair assured the public that a security advisor guides the operations of these forces, fostering strong working relationships and ensuring an unbiased approach while handling the crisis in Manipur.
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