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Manipur commandos hold symbolic protest against attack on officer’s home

Commando units in Imphal West, Imphal East, Bishnupur, Thoubal, Kakching districts stage symbolic arms down protest

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IMPHAL, Feb 28: Hundreds of commando personnel of all five districts in the Imphal Valley region on Wednesday held a symbolic ‘arms down’ protest against the mob attack on the residence of an additional superintendent of police, Amit Kumar Moirangthem and his abduction, officials said.

The police commandos of these districts put down their arms asking for action against Metei radical group Arambai Tenggol and no hindrance from political executives when the forces act against the outfit, they said.

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They are protesting against Tuesday’s incident during which a group of Meira Paibis (women volunteer group) and cadres of Arambai Tenngol, a Meitei organisation, stormed into the police officer’s residence, abducted him and beat up the personnel guarding him.

The additional SP (operations) was rescued within hours and is currently hospitalised.

The Army had to be called in as fresh tension mounted in Manipur East on Tuesday and four columns of the Assam Rifles were deployed after the senior police officer was abducted.

“Protesting against the attack, the commando personnel of Imphal West district held anarms down protest at their respective complex,” an official said.

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Those personnel of the commando units in Imphal East, Bishnupur, Thoubal and Kakching districts also followed the move.

“They put down their firearms on the ground in a row as a symbol of protest,” he said.

Senior police officials talked to their personnel assuring them that strict action would be taken against the perpetrators.

“You can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them to only bite your neighbour. This was stated by the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Pakistan in 2011, but today it holds good for Manipur where a section of the community was welcoming the return of these terror and radical groups,” a senior security official said.

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The attackers broke window panes and flower pots besides smashing the windscreens of four vehicles parked on the premises of the additional SP.

In a statement, the state police said two persons suffered injuries during the incident in the capital of the northeastern state, which has been rocked by ethnic strife since May last year.

More than 180 people were killed since the violence erupted 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, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mainly in the hill districts. (PTI)

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