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Mob Tries To Gherao Manipur Police Office To Get Arms

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IMPHAL, Nov 1:  A mob on Wednesday tried to gherao a Manipur Police office complex demanding arms in Imphal, the capital of the restive state, prompting the authorities to order firing of several rounds in the air and withdraw curfew relaxations in two districts, officials said.

The Manipur government has withdrawn the daily curfew relaxation from 5 am to 10 pm in Imphal East and West districts “with immediate effect owing to developing law and order situation”, according to an official order.

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The decision came following the attempt by a group of people to gherao the 1st Manipur Rifles complex, close to Raj Bhavan and Chief Minister’s Office in Imphal West district, demanding weapons.

Security forces fired several rounds in the air to disperse the mob, officials said.

Tension had been brewing in the state capital after an on-duty sub-divisional police officer at Moreh town was shot dead by tribal militants on Tuesday morning.

In another incident, three police personnel suffered bullet injuries when militants ambushed a convoy of the state force at Sinam in Tengnoupal district on Tuesday afternoon. The convoy was sent to Moreh as reinforcement to assist in conducting operations.

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The state has remained gripped by recurring bouts of violence since ethnic clashes first erupted in May. More than 180 people have been killed since then.

The clashes have occurred over a number of grievances that both sides have against the other however the flashpoint of the crisis has been a move to give Meiteis scheduled tribe status, which has since been rolled back and an attempt to turf out tribals living in protected forest areas.

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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