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Stop Violence Or Face Consequences: Manipur CM Warns People

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IMPHAL, June 19 (PTI): Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Monday warned people that they will have to face the consequences if they do not stop violence in the state.

He was reacting to the injury suffered by an Army soldier after unidentified men resorted to unprovoked firing in Imphal West district on Sunday night.

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“Stop it (violence). Otherwise, they will face the consequences. I also appeal to the people… Meitei people who are with arms … not to attack anything and maintain peace so that we can restore normalcy in the state,” Singh told reporters here.

According to officials, the soldier was evacuated to the military hospital at Leimakhong and is said to be stable.

They said the incident took place at Kanto Sabal village adjoining Leimakhong (Chingmang).

Soon after the incident, Army Columns resorted to controlled retaliatory fire keeping given the presence of villagers in the area.

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During the incident, unidentified armed men also set three houses on fire in Chinmang village. The fire was later doused by the Army.

After a couple of hours of calm, unprovoked firing started again from Meitei village of Kanto Sabal around 2.35 am and continued till 3 am, officials added.

The chief minister also said his government will build 3,000-4,000 pre-fabricated houses to accommodate people who had to flee from their houses during the ongoing violence in the northeastern state.

Prefabricated houses are ready-made structures that are constructed off-site and assembled at the place where the homes will be set up.

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Singh, who visited some relief camps during the day, said that those prefabricated houses will be ready in two months.

“People are suffering… The state government is going to construct prefabricated houses to accommodate them (those living in relief camps) temporarily till a permanent arrangement is made to shift them to their previous places,” the chief minister said.

“The materials will reach Imphal in 10-15 days. The government is looking for a place to set up those houses,” Singh said.

A large number of houses were burnt and more than 100 people have lost their lives in the ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki community people in Manipur that broke out over a month ago.

Army and paramilitary forces have been deployed in the state to restore peace in the northeastern state.

Singh said he had a telephone conversation with his Mizoram counterpart Zoramthanga.

“I informed him about the apprehension faced by the Meiteis living in Mizoram and he assured me of their safety,” he said.

On opening of schools in Manipur, which were closed since the violence broke out early last month, the chief minister said, “We have to give priority to education, which is very much needed for the present and future generations.”

Meanwhile, in a possible response to Singh’s appeal for peace, an Assam-based Meitei organisation on Monday cancelled its proposed economic blockade on National Highway-306 linking Silchar in Assam with Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram.

NH-306/6 is the lifeline of Mizoram linking the state with Assam and the rest of the country.

The Manipur government had imposed a curfew on 11 of the 16 districts and banned internet services in a bid to stop the spread of rumours in the state.

Clashes first broke out on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals – Nagas and Kukis – constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.


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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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