A chaotic situation unfolded in Manipur on Tuesday as a large mob attempted to raid a police reserve camp, leading to security personnel opening fire. The incident resulted in the death of one man and left 10 others injured. The siege occurred at the headquarters of the 3rd Indian Reserve Battalion in Manipur’s Thouthbal district, where around 500 people gathered at 10:30 am. The crowd grew to approximately 700 individuals by noon, and multiple attempts were made to break into the camp. In response, security personnel deployed tear gas shells to disperse the mob.
The escalation prompted the deployment of the Assam Rifles and the rescinding of curfew relaxation in the district. Since May 3, Manipur has been grappling with ethnic clashes triggered by a Manipur High Court recommendation to include the Meitei community, which constitutes 53% of the population and is the dominant community, in the scheduled tribe list. This recommendation sparked protests from the tribal population, particularly the Kukis, leading to clashes across the state. The violence has continued sporadically, resulting in at least 122 deaths, over 300 injuries, and the displacement of nearly 50,000 individuals from their homes.
According to an unnamed official, the mob blocked the movement of two columns of Assam Rifles in front of the headquarters and engaged in armed confrontation. A petrol bomb was thrown, igniting an Assam Rifles vehicle, and an Assam Rifles soldier was injured by a bullet. Despite the challenges faced by the security forces, they worked together to ensure the injured man was taken to the hospital and successfully prevented the mob from breaking into the headquarters and accessing the armory. The mob was eventually dispersed in the evening.
The deceased individual, identified only as Ronaldo, succumbed to his gunshot wounds while being transported to a hospital in Imphal. Additionally, in a separate incident on Sunday, three village volunteers were killed in an attack by unknown miscreants in the village of Khoijumantabi, situated on the boundary of Bishnupur and Churachandpur districts. Furthermore, an abandoned house belonging to a militant group spokesperson was torched on Monday night by unidentified individuals.
As the situation remains tense, the presence of four to five columns of the Army and Assam Rifles has been maintained in the area. Authorities continue to work towards restoring peace and stability in Manipur while investigating the various incidents that have occurred amidst the ongoing ethnic clashes.
Sources By Agencies