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Manipur Violence: Army Called in as Fresh Tension Brews After Brief Abduction of Senior Cop

The superintendent of police in Imphal East was abducted allegedly by persons owing allegiance to Arambai Tenggol, said reports.
Representation Image

Representation Image

New Delhi: Fresh tension erupted in the strife-torn North-Eastern state of Manipur and Army had to be called in when a senior police officer was abducted on Tuesday night in Imphal East, allegedly by cadre of Arambai Tenggol, a Meitei organisation, according to a report in NENow.

The Manipur Police, in a statement, said that Imphal East additional superintendent of police Amit Singh was later rescued after a swift action by cops and security forces, said the report.

It has been 10 months since violence has torn the ‘double engine BJP-ruled state apart, with the divide between two major ethnic groups – Meteis and Kukis – deepening like never before.

Tuesday’s incident was reportedly spurred by the said police officer arresting six members of the Arambai Tenggol group for their involvement in vehicle theft, officials told The Indian Express.

Late Tuesday evening, around 7 p.m,  about 200 persons  owing allegiance to the Metei group attacked the house of the senior police officer and reportedly also used gunfire and damaged a few vehicles.

News agency PTI, citing unnamed officials, reported that the Army was called in after fresh tension mounted in Manipur and four columns of the Assam Rifles were deployed in Imphal East after the police officer was abducted.

Following the arrests, a group of Meira Paibis (Meitei women group) had protested and blocked roads demanding their release.

In the Tuesday evening attack, armed cadres allegedly belonging to the Arambai Tenggol ransacked the house of the police officer and damaged at least four vehicles with gunfire, they said.

M Kulla, the police officer’s father, told Indian Express, “We tried to talk to the armed men after they entered, but all of a sudden they started firing at the vehicles and properties. So, we had to rush inside and lock ourselves.” The father, according to the officials, called his son and informed about the incident.

Violence intensified in Manipur from May 3, 2023. So far, over 200 casualties have been reported. The violence took place after a “Tribal Solidarity March” in the hill districts protesting the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, as recommended by the Manipur High Court.

However, the Manipur HC very recently deleted the para of its 2023 order that led to widespread protests in Manipur and sparked ethnic clashes as well as large-scale displacement of people. The High Court has now deleted the paragraph from its March 27 judgment and said that the ruling was passed in “misconception of law."

The Meiteis constitute around 53% of Manipur’s population and reside predominantly in Imphal Valley, while the tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, make up 40% and primarily inhabit the hill districts.

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