Manipur violence: Army chief to visit today, internet ban extended

Army launches search ops to seize arms from vigilante groups

Manipur violence Army and Assam Rifles personnel conduct a flag march in violence-hit areas amid tribal groups' protest over court order on Scheduled Tribe status in Manipur | PTI

Ahead of Home Minister Amit Shah's visit, the Indian Army and Assam Rifles has beefed up the security in Manipur. In order to restore peace, Army deployed in the violence-hit state recovered arms from the rival communities.

Army chief General Manoj Pande will be visiting Manipur on Saturday to review the security situation in view of the recent violence. He would be briefed by the Eastern Command officials on the measures taken to bring the situation under control.

Meanwhile, 'Operation Weapon Recovery' was launched to search for arms in New Keithelmanbi village in Imphal on Friday.

The Army and Assam Rifles personnel, who had swooped down in the village in Kangpokpi district recovered explosives, locally made pipe guns, air guns were recovered in the search operation.

"In the last few days, we have observed that communities are attacking each other with firearms. In some cases, people are being killed This sudden emergence of arms is delaying the entire peace process," a senior Army official told PTI.

In the wake of the ethnic clashes that broke out in the state, armed vigilante groups have been taking the law into their own hands. Even militant groups have joined creating even more tension in the region.

"Indian Army and Assam Rifles have decided to carry out surprise search operations on villages of different communities. We are not targeting any one particular community. Our aim is to stop that one individual in the entire village who is threatening the other community by carrying arms. We are seizing such weapons and also apprehending them," an official was quoted by PTI.

Amid clashes, the internet ban imposed in the state has been extended till May 31.

Clashes broke out in Manipur on May 3 after a Tribal Solidarity March' took out a protest march against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. Agitations occurred later over the eviction of Kukis, tribals, from the reserve forest land.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur's population, while the tribals—Nagas and Kukis-- constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.

So far, the ethnic clashes claimed over 70 lives and some 10,000 army and para-military personnel had to be deployed to bring back normalcy in the northeastern state.


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