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Security heightened in Manipur ahead of I-Day celebrations

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IMPHAL, Aug 13 (PTI): Security arrangements were beefed up in
Manipur on Sunday after some Imphal valley-based banned
organisations called for a strike on Independence Day, officials
said.
Security forces also conducted search operations in vulnerable
areas of five districts and recovered arms and ammunition, the
police said.
Preparations for the I-Day celebrations are in full swing across
the state with BSF, police and Assam Rifles personnel and
students joining rehearsals for march past to be held on August
15.
“Rehearsals for I-Day celebrations were held on Saturday at
Peace Ground in Churachandpur district’s Tuiboung area.
Twenty-one parade contingents of BSF, police, students and
Assam Rifles participated in the preparations,” an official said.
Preparations are also underway in the capital Imphal with
temporary gates being erected and hoardings being put up to
celebrate Independence Day on August 15.
“Security measures have been significantly heightened after
several militant outfits called for a strike on I-Day,” another
official said.

Several outlawed outfits, such as Coordinating Committee
(Corcom), called for a general strike on I-Day from 1 am to 6.30
pm.
Corcom includes banned groups including United National
Liberation Front (UNLF), People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and
PREPAK.
Two more proscribed outfits in Manipur have also separately
called for a shutdown on August 15.
“Search operations were conducted in the fringe and
vulnerable areas of Imphal-West, Imphal-East, Thoubal,
Bishnupur and Churachandpur districts by the state police and
central security forces and recovered 12 arms, six ammunitions
and eight explosives,” the Manipur Police said on Twitter.
Notably, more than 160 people lost their lives and several
hundred 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 Manipur’s population
and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals — Nagas and Kukis
— constitute little over 40 per cent and reside in the hill
districts.

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