New Delhi: Fresh violence in Manipur has led to injuries in two security forces fighters and five civilians near Naransena village in Bishnupur district, where a gunfight has continued for over 36 hours in the hills and valley.
Two days ago, in areas adjoining the village, two men had been killed.
Hindustan Times has reported that the firing between Kuki and Meitei groups started on the morning of August 29 after a 26-year-old farmer, Salam Jotin Singh, a resident of Naransena, was shot at by miscreants. He sustained a bullet injury.
Unnamed officials told the paper that two battalions of the India Reserve Battalion, a special armed force of the state, were deployed in the area. The two jawans from among them who received injuries are recovering, as are the five civilians, they said.
The firing between Meitei and Kuki militants is learned to have stopped now.
CBI takes over 27 FIRs
The news agency PTI has reported that the Central Bureau of Investigation has taken over cases pertaining to 27 FIRs.
The CBI has thus registered 27 corresponding cases, out of which 19 are of crime against women, three pertain to an armory loot by a mob, two are of murder and one each of rioting and murder, kidnapping and general criminal conspiracy, the agency report said, quoting sources.
A CBI team of 53 officers, of whom 29 are women, are looking into the Manipur cases.
Sources who spoke to PTI said the investigators were keen to avoid allegations of bias while looking into the ethnic conflict.
“They said several of these cases being probed by the CBI may attract provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, which can be probed by an officer of the rank of deputy superintendent of police,” the agency report said.
Meira Paibis versus Assam Rifles
Meanwhile, the fissures between the Meitei women activists called Meira Paibis and the paramilitary force Assam Rifles grows, with the former reviving the demand for the latter’s removal from strife-torn Manipur.
The Telegraph has reported that representatives of the Committee on Mass Protest Against Assam Rifles called on governor Anusuiya Uikey on the evening of August 30. The group reminded the government of their August 9 memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through her.
One of those in the delegation told the newspaper that they asked the governor what the status of their memorandum was.
“She said she had discussed the issue with the Centre and would discuss it again. We want their removal,” the Meira Paibi leader said.
CPI(M) delegation finds state deeply divided
A CPI(M) central committee delegation of party general secretary Sitaram Yechury, along with Jitendera Choudhury, Debolina Hembram and Suprakash Talukdar, that visited the state from August 18-20, found the stage deeply divided along ethnic lines.
“This segregation is stark: the Imphal Valley no longer houses anyone from the Kuki-Zo community, even government officials who’ve moved to Kuki-Zo areas,” the report on the party paper says.
The delegation visited the Saithong Relief camp in Moirang, where 370 Meitei individuals sought refuge since May 4. After the inauguration of a relief distribution effort, the delegation proceeded to Churachandpur district and visited two relief camps at Koite with 200 Kuki-Zo residents and another at Saidan. This camp, the report says, accommodated Hmar and Thadao speakers who fled Sangang and Lanja villages on May 4.
The delegation also met religious heads like Archbishop Dominic Luman, law enforcement officials like Churachandpur’s DC and SP, and the state’s Governor, Anusuiya Uikey, and with Churachandpur’s civil society groups and prominent individuals at the Kuki INPT office in Tuibong.