At least 25 miscreants with arms, ammunition and grenades have been rounded up by Indian Army and paramilitary forces across ethnic-strife riven Manipur, officials said on Monday.
A spokesperson for the defence forces said a number of people were detained with weapons after fresh incidents of firing and clashes broke out in and around Imphal valley on Sunday.
"During operations in Sanasabi, Gwaltabi and Shabunkhol Khunao in YKPI Bowl in the hilly region of Imphal East district, Army apprehended 22 miscreants with weapons and other war like stores.
"Five 12-bore double barrel rifles, three single barrel rifles, one country made weapon with double bore and one muzzle loaded weapon were recovered," he said in a statement.
Army mobilised several columns to establish multiple Mobile Vehicle Check Posts (MVCP) and undertake search operations after getting specific intelligence about armed miscreants venturing out for burning of houses, he added.
"While operating in the area, the Army columns were fired upon from automatic weapons by miscreants who were trying to burn the houses," the spokesperson said.
In Imphal city, a mobile check post stopped a car with three passengers on Sunday night, he added.
"On being stopped, the miscreants got down from the car and attempted to flee. All three miscreants were however apprehended by alert troops on ground," he said.
One Insas rifle with magazine, 60 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition, one Chinese hand grenade and one detonator were also recovered, he added.
In all 25 miscreants were caught and handed over, along with weapons and munitions, to the Manipur police.
"Swift action by the Army averted loss of precious lives and multiple incidents of arson," the statement said.
The defence PRO also said that Sugnu and Serou villages of Kakching district witnessed violent clashes on Sunday which saw the army intervening to rescue people affected.
"Villagers of both the communities were stranded in pockets under the protection of security forces. In a major evacuation drive organised by Army and Assam Rifles in coordination with the police, state administration and civil society organisations, nearly 2000 Meitei villagers were evacuated from Serou to Pangaltabi relief camp," he added.
While aerial surveillance cover was given by UAVs, mine protected vehicles and area domination patrols were put in place on ground to ensure safe and incident free evacuation, the official said.
"Similarly, nearly 328 Kuki villagers were safely evacuated to Sajik Tampak from Sugnu," he added.