Manipur police stops Rahul Gandhi’s convoy at Bishnupur

Imphal:┬áCongress leader Rahul Gandhi’s convoy was on Thursday stopped by the Manipur police at Bishnupur, about 20 kilometres from Imphal, officials said. After arriving at Imphal, he was travelling in a convoy to Churachandpur to visit relief camps in the area. Police officials said the convoy was stopped fearing violence along the route.

They said that tyres were burnt on the highway near Utlou village in Bishnupur district and a few stones were thrown at the convoy. “We fear repetition of such events and hence as a precaution, requested the convoy to halt at Bishnupur,” a police officer told PTI.

Congress office bearers are speaking with the police and army authorities to ensure safe passage for their party leader. More than 100 people have lost their lives in the ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki communities in the northeastern state so far.

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.