Imphal: Security forces clash with mob, houses set on fire

Imphal:  At least two houses were set on fire by a mob here on Thursday afternoon a day after an attack in the Khamenlok area left nine people dead and injured ten others, officials said.

Security forces which tried to quell the mob were forced to use force and fired tear gas shells at the mob at New Checkon in Imphal, they added.

This happened as the army and Assam Rifles intensified their “area domination” operations in the aftermath of the recent spurt in violence in the strife-torn state of Manipur.

Army and Assam Rifles columns intensified patrolling, taking down barriers wherever they had been created.

An Army tweet said, “Enhanced Area Domination Operations by Army and Assam Rifles are being undertaken in the aftermath of the recent spurt in violence”.

The social media post by the Spear Corps of the Indian Army, whose operational area Manipur falls, said the “domination of fringe areas and higher reaches underway by long duration self-contained columns” was being enforced.

The security forces redoubled their efforts in the wake of an attack on a Kuki village in the Khamenlok area bordering Imphal East and Kangpoki districts in the early hours of Wednesday, where 9 people died and 10 more were injured in a gunbattle which ensued between the miscreants who attacked the village and villagers.

Later on Wednesday evening, other miscreants set on fire the official quarters of woman Manipur minister Nemcha Kipgen in the Lamphel area in Imphal West district. Firefighters reached the spot and doused the flames before the blaze could spread to the neighbourhood.

More than 100 people have lost their lives in the ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki community people in Manipur that broke out a month ago. The state has imposed a curfew on 11 districts and banned the internet in a bid to stop the spread of rumours in the state.

Clashes first broke out on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals – Nagas and Kukis – constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.