Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Wednesday appealed to people to surrender weapons looted from security forces and warned of legal action against anyone found to be in unauthorised and illegal possession of arms and ammunition.
In a signed statement, the chief minister also appealed to all concerned in Manipur not to block roads and hinder the free movement of security personnel and relief material.
Such roadblocks were making it extremely difficult for security and police personnel to respond to attacks by armed groups on time, Singh said.
"I appeal to all persons concerned to return and surrender the arms and ammunition which have been snatched from armed police battalions, police stations, etc, in valley and hill districts to the nearest police station/MR/IRB, etc at the earliest.
"Legal action as per the Arms Act 1959 and Rules will be taken in case any person is found to be in unauthorised and illegal possession of arms and ammunition during combing operations by security personnel or otherwise," the chief minister said.
He said people are violating curfew restrictions and blocking roads at several locations, causing obstacles to the free movement of relief material for those in relief camps and also to the movement of security personnel to curb security threats from illegal armed groups in conflict areas in the foothills and interiors of the state.
"Such roadblocks are increasing the hardship of our already traumatised people in relief camps, including pregnant women and young children by halting the movement of health personnel, medicine, food, milk and water meant for them.
"Such roadblocks are also making it extremely difficult for security and police personnel to respond to attacks by armed groups on time," the chief minister said.
Singh said that to save lives and property of innocent civilians, and to assuage the hardship faced in relief camps, "I appeal to the people of Manipur not to cause roadblocks and hindrances on free movement of security personnel and relief material."
The appeal by the Manipur chief minister came amid the ongoing visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to the state.
On his third day of the tour, Shah held a review meeting in the border town of Moreh on Wednesday to take stock of the security situation in the northeastern state which has been witnessing sporadic violence for nearly a month.
The Union home minister reviewed the security situation in Manipur and met with a delegation of the Kukis and a team representing the other communities. The representatives expressed their strong support for the government's initiatives to restore normalcy in Manipur.
On Tuesday, after meeting Shah in Imphal and Churachandpur, the Meitei and Kuki groups expressed their commitment to peace and assured that they would work for restoring normalcy in the trouble-torn state.
Shah also held a security review meeting with senior officials of the Manipur Police, Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and the Army in Imphal on Tuesday.
He said peace and prosperity of Manipur are the government's top priority and instructed them to strictly deal with any activities that disturb tranquillity.
This is the first time the Union home minister is visiting Manipur since ethnic clashes erupted in the northeastern state on May 3.
The state on Sunday witnessed a sudden spurt in clashes and firing between militants and security forces, after a relative lull for over a fortnight.
The death toll from clashes has gone up to 80, officials said.
The ethnic violence first broke out after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.