NEW DELHI, June 9 (PTI): The CBI has formed a 10-member special investigation team (SIT) under a DIG-rank officer to probe six cases related to the Manipur violence referred to it by the state government, officials said on Friday.
During his visit to the northeastern state, union home minister Amit Shah announced a CBI probe into six FIRs — five on alleged criminal conspiracy and one on general conspiracy behind the violence in Manipur.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had dispatched joint director Ghanshyam Upadhyay to coordinate with the state officials and upon his return, the SIT was constituted. The Special Crime Branch, Kolkata will probe the cases, the officials said.
“The CBI has today registered six cases transferred by the state of Manipur pertaining to large-scale violence leading to destruction and looting of the properties arson, looting/snatching of arms/ammunition and loss of human lives, etc. in various districts of the state,” an agency spokesperson said.
He said the SIT has been constituted for a “thorough probe” in the cases and to unearth the criminal conspiracy behind the unfortunate incidents.
Meanwhile, security forces recovered 57 arms, 1,588 ammunition and 23 bombs from Imphal East, Kakching, Tengnoupal and Bishnupur districts of Manipur during the last 24 hours, sources said.
A total of 953 arms, 13,351 ammunition and 223 bombs of different kinds have been recovered till date, they said.
Violence broke out in Manipur after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. So far, nearly 100 people have lost their lives and over 300 have been injured.
The clashes were preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.
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.
Around 10,000 Army and Assam Rifles personnel have been deployed in the state to maintain peace.