GUWAHATI, Aug 8 (PTI): The Assam Rifles personnel, based at Moirang Lamkhai checkpoint in Manipur’s Bishnupur district, where fresh violence erupted last week, have been withdrawn and substituted by the CRPF and the state police, a notification said.
The withdrawal of Assam Rifles comes at a time when several groups of women in the valley districts launched a demonstration on Monday, demanding the removal of the paramilitary force from the ethnic strife-torn northeastern state.
The notification, issued by additional director general of police (law and order) L Kailun said, “The checkpoint at Moirang Lamkhai on the Bishnupur to Kangvai Road shall be manned by the civil police and 128 Bn CRPF in place of 9 AR with immediate effect and until further orders”.
Assam Rifles has been contacted, and a response from the paramilitary force is awaited.
Meira Paibi, a body of Meitei women blocked a road at Hodam Leirak and Kwakeithel in Imphal West district and Angom Leikai and Khurai areas in Imphal East on Monday, demanding removal of Assam Rifles from Manipur. They claimed that the paramilitary force has brutalized the locals during the recent agitations in the strife-torn areas.
Meanwhile, the administrations of Imphal East and West districts increased the curfew relaxation by two hours on Tuesday.
The curfew has been relaxed in Imphal East and Imphal West from 5 am to 2 pm, officials said.
For Thoubal district, it will be relaxed from 5 am to 4 pm and for Kakching, it would be from 5 am to 5 pm.
More than 160 people lost their lives and several hundreds were injured since the ethnic clashes broke out in Manipur 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 the state’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals — Nagas and Kukis — constitute a little over 40 per cent and reside in the hill districts. (With inputs form PTI)