Fresh tension escalates in Manipur capital as house engulfs in flames

Fresh tension escalates in Manipur capital as house engulfs in flames

The calm that had gradually returned to Imphal city in Manipur was shattered on May 22 as fresh violence erupted, resulting in arson and an unfortunate assault on media personnel. The incident took place in the New Checkon area of Imphal East, where miscreants wielding arms threatened women vendors and shopkeepers, sparking a heated altercation. Matters escalated when a large number of individuals gathered and set fire to several houses, as the situation spiraled out of control.

The incident has added to the already prevailing communal tension in the state, prompting concerns about security and intelligence measures. Gunmen force shops to shut in New Checkon area. Security forces rushed to the spot to control the situation. Two persons have been arrested in connection with the incident. 

Responding swiftly to the scene, a substantial deployment of police personnel from both state and central forces arrived to contain the unruly mob. While there were no reported casualties, three media persons allegedly fell victim to the aggression of central forces attempting to restore order.

Consequently, government promptly revised the curfew timings, shortening it to 1 pm in Imphal East district and 2 pm in Imphal West district, as opposed to the previous 5 am to 4 pm schedule.

Speaking at a press conference held at the chief minister's secretariat, Kuldeip Singh, the advisor on security to the Manipur Government, acknowledged the sporadic incidents of violence. He emphasized the prompt action taken by the state and central forces, preventing these incidents from escalating further and resulting in severe consequences. Several individuals involved in the cases have been apprehended.

Singh disclosed that miscreants brandishing double-barreled firearms intimidated shopkeepers and vendors, leading to the subsequent outbreak of violence in New Checkon area of Imphal East district . Security forces swiftly intervened and managed to bring the situation under control. As a result, three individuals connected to the incident were apprehended, and the area is under constant surveillance.

Furthermore, Singh revealed another incident that occurred around 12:45 pm in Moirang, Bishnupur district. Miscreants targeted and set ablaze an abandoned vehicle workshop. The state forces and army personnel responded promptly to the situation, successfully apprehending seven individuals involved, who are currently in custody.

In a separate incident that transpired on May 21 at approximately 10:30 pm in Moidangpok, Imphal West district, unidentified miscreants opened fire, leaving three individuals injured. In response, state and central forces pursued the culprits and managed to arrest one person.

Kuldeip Singh also recounted his visit to Kangpokpi, along with the chief secretary, to engage with civil society organizations and discuss road blockage concerns. The organizations raised various issues, and Singh assured them of the government's support and cooperation in promoting peace and tranquility.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh appealed to the people of Manipur, urging them to refrain from engaging in any form of mob violence. Instead, he emphasized the importance of reporting complaints to the nearest police station or emergency hotline, which has been widely publicized. The chief minister assured the public that the state government is actively identifying vulnerable areas and will take action against anyone involved in unlawful activities. He called on the people to place their trust in the government's efforts to maintain peace, integrity, and harmony in the state.

Addressing the incident in New Checkon, Imphal East district, Chief Minister Biren Singh announced that two licensed guns were recovered and three individuals, including an ex-MLA, were arrested. Expressing his concern over the assault on media personnel at the violence site, he extended his apologies for the unfortunate incident.

Additionally, the chief minister shared that two more companies of central forces would be deployed in the state soon, following the approval from the central government.