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Situation calm but tense in Imphal

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IMPHAL, Nov 2: The situation in Manipur’s capital Imphal
remained calm but tense on Thursday, a day after security
forces fired several rounds in the air to disperse a large mob

of more than 2,000 people who tried to loot an armoury
within the camp of the 1 Manipur Rifles.
Several markets in the city remained closed but educational
institutions, government offices and the Manipur High Court
were functioning normally, while vehicles were seen plying
on roads after the curfew was relaxed from 10 am.
The administration deployed additional state and central
forces at major junctions and police personnel were seen
patrolling the area near the Manipur Rifles camp.
“Yesterday’s attempt to loot arms and ammunitions at 1st
MR Battalion by armed miscreants was repulsed by
combined security forces effectively,” the state police said on
Thursday.
The mob targeted the Manipur Rifles camp, close to the Raj
Bhavan and the chief minister’s Office in Imphal West district
on Wednesday.
Responding to the situation, the district authorities in Imphal
East and West immediately withdrew the daily curfew
relaxation from 5 am to 10 pm.
District Magistrate Imphal East, however, relaxed the curfew
restriction from 10 am to 6 pm on Thursday.
Such a restriction was also lifted in Imphal West from 10 am
to 5 pm.

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The “restriction of movements of persons outside their
respective residences has been relaxed from 10 am to 6 pm
on Thursday” but “the relaxation does not apply to any
gathering or large scale movement of persons or sit in
protests or rally which is unlawful in nature,” the government
orders said.
Tension had been brewing in the state capital after an SDPO –
an officer of the rank of deputy superintendent of police
belonging to the majority community – was shot dead by
tribal militants at Moreh town 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.
Meanwhile, the Kuki Students Organisation (KSO) has called a
48-hour shutdown in the state from midnight of November 1
to protest against the deployment of additional police
commandos in Moreh town in Tengnoupal district, where the
sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) was shot dead on October
31.
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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