This morning, a group of people ignited abandoned houses in the New Lambulane area of Imphal, causing panic and tension in Manipur. Security forces arrived at the scene to extinguish the fires, and the Army and paramilitary forces were deployed to manage the situation.
In response to the arson reports, a curfew has been enforced across the state from 6 am to 2 pm. Previously, the curfew had been relaxed from 6 am to 4 pm.
Additionally, the restriction on internet services has been extended for another five days due to reports of incidents such as the burning of houses and properties in the state.
“This order has been issued to maintain peace and public order in the jurisdiction of Manipur State. It will be effective for an additional five days, starting immediately from the time this suspension order becomes operational, until 3 pm on 26-05-2023,” the statement explained.
Clashes erupted this morning in Imphal’s New Checkon Bazaar area, leading to subsequent incidents of arson. Three individuals have been arrested by the police for their alleged involvement.
According to news agency PTI, military personnel stationed in the area swiftly responded to the scene and took necessary actions, including the use of force and teargas shells, to disperse the crowd. As a result, a few individuals suffered minor injuries.
The Delhi division of the Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO) has alleged that a church belonging to the ICI denomination located on Chassad Avenue in Imphal was deliberately targeted and set on fire by Meitei mobs.
Another Church Targeted and Burnt Down by Meitei Mobs.
Devastating scenes of ICI Church at Chassad Avenue, Imphal engulfed in flames, a testament to the utter incompetence of our state administration. The people entrusted to protect us have failed miserably, leaving us to face… pic.twitter.com/agI3P4Hnp3
— KSO Delhi & NCR (@KSODelhi) May 22, 2023
This incident occurred several weeks after an event called the “Tribal Solidarity March” took place on May 3. The march was organized in opposition to the Meitei community’s demand for inclusion in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list, which led to ethnic clashes. The Christian Kuki and Naga communities have voiced their disagreement with the decision of the BJP-led government under N. Biren Singh to grant ST status to the Hindu Meitei population, who constitute the majority in the state. The violence resulted in the loss of more than 70 lives, and approximately 10,000 army and paramilitary personnel were deployed to restore normalcy in the northeastern state.
What is the govt doing?
The response from the govt of Manipur which is pre dominantly Meitei ruled as well as the BJP ruled center government has not been enough to break the impasse between the 2 conflicting communities. Probably Delhi needs to focus more on this issue as an unprecedented damage has been done to lives and livelihood in the state.