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Curfew relaxed in Imphal valley  

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IMPHAL, Aug 4 (PTI): The Manipur Police on Friday said joint forces have conducted search operations in vulnerable and fringe areas of the strife-torn state and destroyed seven illegal bunkers after fresh violence broke out across various districts.

The state government, however, relaxed the curfew in Imphal East and West districts for seven hours from 5 am to facilitate common people to purchase essential items, officials said.

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”Security Forces conducted search operations in the vulnerable and fringe areas of the State. Joint security forces conducted operation in Koutruk hill range and destroyed 07 (seven) illegal bunkers,” the state police said on Twitter.

Following the violence in several districts of the ethnic riot-hit state, the administration had on Thursday imposed a total curfew in the twin districts of Imphal as a precautionary measure, withdrawing relaxations announced earlier.

The curfew was relaxed on Friday from 5 am to 12 pm ”to facilitate the general public to purchase essential commodities, including medicines and food items”, according to orders issued by district magistrates of Imphal East and West.

A 35-year-old woman was injured late on Thursday in an exchange of fire between unidentified gunmen and state forces at Terakhongsangbi in Bishnupur, a district official said.

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The woman, identified as Aribam Wahida Bibi, suffered a bullet injury on his hand and she has been undergoing treatment at a hospital in Imphal, he said.

Earlier on Thursday, a mob looted the armoury at the headquarters of the 2nd India Reserve Battalion (IRB) located at Naranseina in Bishnupur district, officials said.

More than 19,000 rounds of bullets of different calibres, an AK series assault rifle, three ‘Ghaatak’ rifles, 195 self-loading rifles, five MP-5 guns, 16 9mm pistols, 25 bulletproof jackets, 21 carbines, 124 hand grenades among others were looted by the mob, they said.

Over 25 people were injured in clashes as Army and RAF personnel fired tear gas shells in Kangvai and Phougakchao areas in Bishnupur on Thursday to stop processions from proceeding to a proposed burial site, violating restrictions on gatherings.

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The Kuki-Zomi organisation, Indigenous Tribal Leaders’s Forum, had planned the burial of 35 people, who were killed in ethnic riots in the state at a site in Haolai Khopi village of Churachandpur, resulting in tension in many districts.

The High Court of Manipur had ordered that the status quo be maintained at the proposed burial site.

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