Manipur violence: Ahead of Amit Shah's visit, Assam Rifles sets up temporary base

Shah had earlier appealed to the people of Manipur to maintain peace

manipur-soldiers-pti Security personnel during a joint search operation after violence in Manipur | PTI

With Union Home Minister Amit Shah set to visit violence-hit Manipur on May 29, the Assam Rifles (AR) on Friday set up a temporary base along the Mizoram-Manipur inter-state boundary to monitor the situation and maintain peace in the border area in the wake of ethnic violence in the northeastern state, the paramilitary force said in a statement.

Shah, who had earlier appealed to the people of Manipur to maintain peace and promised justice to all sections of the society, will stay in the state for three days.

Manipur has witnessed violence over a move to grant Scheduled Tribe status to the majority Metei community in the state. The clashes broke out after Naga and Kuki tribals, who are opposing this plan, organised a 'Tribal Solidarity March' on May 3. Over 70 people have, reportedly, been killed in the state.

AR personnel interacted with village council representatives and YMA office-bearers of Khawdungsei and Khakhawn villages and explained to them the establishment of the temporary base near Tuivai Bridge.

They said the reason for establishing the temporary base was to provide protection to the internally-displaced people from Manipur and to prevent the movement of militants and weapons.

Engineers and workers of the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) also repaired the bridge.

The bridge has now become the lifeline for the people living in southern Manipur, especially in Churachandpur as all relief materials from Mizoram are passing through this route, the statement said.

However, there are some unconfirmed reports that the Zomi Revolution Army (ZRA), a militant outfit, is collecting taxes from vehicles carrying relief material to Churachandpur, it said.

The Assam Rifles also rescued 188 employees of NHIDCL who were stranded in Sinzawl village in Manipur.

Mob tries to gherao Union minister's residence

Meanwhile, a group of people tried to gherao the residence of Union Minister of State for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh in Imphal East district claiming that the government in the strife-torn state is not doing enough to protect locals from militants belonging to another community, officials said on Friday.

At around 8 pm on Thursday the mob tried to gherao the residence of Singh in the Kongba area of the district but the security forces fired tear gas shells to disperse the mob, they said.

The minister and his family members were not present at home during the incident. There was no report of any damage to the minister's house, the officials said.

Singh is a senior BJP leader and MP of the Inner Manipur Lok Sabha constituency.

There were reports of an exchange of fire between security forces and suspected Kuki militants on Thursday night in the Toronglaobi area in Bishnupur district.

On Wednesday the house of Manipur PWD Minister Konthoujam Govindas in Bishnupur district was attacked by a group of people claiming that the government is not doing enough to protect locals from militants belonging to another community.

Govindas who is a BJP leader and his family members, however, were not present at the house when the mob, comprising mostly women, attacked the house in the Ningthoukhong area and damaged a portion of a gate, windows, a few furniture and electronic gadgets.

This was for the first time a minister's house was attacked during the ongoing ethnic violence. Army and paramilitary forces have been deployed to control the situation in the state.

NEET-UG to be held on any date between June 3-5

Meanwhile, medical entrance exam NEET-UG, which was postponed in Manipur in view of the law and order situation, will now be conducted on any date between June 3 and 5, the National Testing Agency (NTA) announced on Friday.

The Common University Entrance Test (CUET-UG) for admissions to undergraduate courses will be conducted in the state from June 5 to 8 and that for admissions to postgraduate courses (CUET-PG) from June 5 to 17, the NTA said.

The candidates who were scheduled to appear for the exams in Manipur can now opt for exam centres in Aizawl (Mizoram); Kohima/Dimapur (Nagaland); Shillong (Meghalaya); Guwahati, Jorhat and Silchar (Assam); Kolkata (West Bengal); Delhi; Bengaluru (Karnataka) and Imphal (Manipur).

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