Manipur: Additional Troops Deployed to Mixed Kuki-Meitei Areas After Fresh Tensions

The Army reportedly intercepted a vehicle carrying large amounts of ammunition on Tuesday night.

New Delhi: An additional 600 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans from five companies were sent to Manipur on Tuesday (May 23), in light of the fresh tensions and arson witnessed on Monday.

According to the Hindustan Times, these troops were sent specifically to increase security in areas which have mixed Kuki and Meitei populations. Another 1,800 CRPF and Assam Rifles personnel will be deployed in the state over the next two days, according to the report.

This will be in addition to the around 10,000 personnel from the army and Assam Rifles and 7,000 from the CRPF and BSF who are already on duty in the state, Hindustan Times said.

“After the cases of violence came down, a joint meeting of the police, state administration and paramilitary forces was held during which specific areas were identified. These areas are those where there is mixed population of Kukis and Meiteis,” an official told Hindustan Times. “The paramilitary forces will be present in such areas as part of measures to ensure there is no tension and normalcy is restored.”

More than 70 people have been killed and 40,000 displaced in the ethnic violence in Manipur that began on May 3.

In Imphal, which witnessed Monday’s violence, shops and businesses remained closed on Tuesday and people were asked to stay indoors, the newspaper reported.

On Tuesday night, the army reportedly intercepted a vehicle carrying a large amount of arms and ammunition at Kangchup Chingkhong Junction in Manipur’s Senapati district. Three people were arrested, ANI reported.

“Based on inputs, Mobile Vehicle Check Post placed at Kangchuk Chingkhong Junction #Manipur. One Maruti Alto was intercepted at 9:35 pm. 5 shotguns,5 Improvised local grenades & 3 Cartons of shotgun ammunition were recovered. 3 persons apprehended, handed over to Police along with recoveries,” Spear Corps of the Indian Army said in a statement on Wednesday.

On Monday, chief minister N. Biren Singh had blamed an unnamed former MLA for conspiring to reignite the tensions in the state. He said three individuals, including a former MLA, were apprehended for their alleged involvement in the violent incidents. Singh said that three people had suffered minor injuries in Imphal West district on Sunday night. The culprits, who were in possession of double-barrel guns, were apprehended by the police, he said.