New Delhi: In a fresh case of loot of weapons in Manipur, a mob looted police armoury on August 3. The loot took place in the morning at the second Indian Reserve Battalion at Narasena.
The Supreme Court is currently hearing cases related to the violent Manipur clashes. Aghast at the state of violence and almost an absence of law and order in the state, it had summoned the state DGP for a personal appearance, which will happen today.
According to the FIR lodged at Moirang police station of the Bishnupur district, the attack took place in the morning. “At about 09.45 hrs. A large number armed miscreants individuals who came by some 40/45 light vehicles and on foot numbering around 500 overpowered the sentry of main gate & Quarter Guar,” the FIR registered on August 3 stated.
The cache of arms looted includes modern weaponry like AF rifle, INSAS rifles, LMGs, pistols, carbines, detonators, spare barrels, pistols, GF rifles, mortars, tear gas guns, AMOGH carbines, SLR guns, magazines of various guns and rifles, and several other arms and ammunition.
The FIR states that the mob broke open the doors. Though the police tried to avert the loot by firing 327 rounds of ammunition and 20 tear smoke shells, all of it was in vain, the FIR revealed.
Manipur has seen large scale loot of state armouries ever since the ethnic conflict began on May 3. According to The Hindu, about 4,000 weapons and lakhs of ammunition have been looted till now, of which only 1,600 weapons have been recovered.
Several incidents of loot of weapons have taken place before. On several occasions state chief minister N. Biren Singh, and during his visit to the state in May Union home minister Amit Shah, have requested the people to return the weapons. One BJP MLA had even put up a drop box asking people to drop their weapons without fearing any reprisal from the state government. However, recovery remains very poor till date, and possession of such a huge cache of modern weapons remains an obstacle in normalcy returning to the state.
The state was rocked by a fresh round of violence on August 3 in the Bishnupur district as the Kuki community had planned a mass burial of people killed in the clashes. Though the burial was called off, the plan led to hundreds of Meitei women protesting close to the site where the burial was supposed to take place. To diffuse the situation, the RAF fired in the air with Manipur police keeping guard on the women, India Today showed. The video shows Manipur police firing at the RAF. Though after a brief exchange of fire from both the sides, it stopped. Several women were hurt in the incident.
Violence also erupted in Imphal West on Thursday, and a police officer was killed, according to NDTV. He was shot in the head by a sniper.