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Manipur police toughen stand against Meitei radical group after cop's kidnap

Source: PTI
February 29, 2024 18:35 IST
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The Manipur police on Thursday announced toughening of its stand against radical Meitei group Arambai Tengol and other anti-social groups who indulge in crimes like attacks and extortion saying the need for deploying Army and other central forces will have to be enhanced after the attack on a state police officer.

IMAGE: Assam Rifle and Manipur Police recover one double-barrel rifle, 2 grenades, ammunition, and other war-like stores during a search operation, in Thoubal, Manipur, February 29, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

In a hard-hitting statement, the Manipur police also said it is a neutral force and does not act against any community or in favour of one and it remains ever committed to guarding and protecting the lives and properties of the public.


The public must not be misled and cooperate with the Manipur police in bringing peace and tranquillity back to the state, it said.

"Combing operations will continue in the days to come and no one responsible for such criminal activities will be spared. With Manipur Police being targeted, the need for calling in Army and other central forces will have to be enhanced," the statement said.

The statement came in the wake of the attack on Manipur police additional superintendent of police Moirangthem Amit Singh allegedly by AT members two days ago.

The Manipur police said all personnel of the force from top to bottom are united and any attack on anyone and use of social media to target any officer or unit will be taken seriously and stringent action will be taken.

An extensive area domination and combing operations by police and other security forces continued in different parts of Manipur as police sought cooperation of the public in bringing peace and tranquility back to the violence-hit state.

The area domination and combing operations came hours after more than 1,000 Manipur police commandos took a stand on Wednesday by laying down their arms in response to Tuesday's attack on ASP Kumar.

An extensive area domination drive by combined forces led by superintendents of police was conducted in five valley districts -- Imphal West, Imphal East, Bishnupur, Thoubal and Kakching -- Wednesday night, a police spokesman said.

He said combing operations will continue in the days to come and no one responsible for "criminal activities" will be spared.

The Manipur police also requested the public to refrain from rumour mongering and circulating fake news.

Condemning the attack on the life of ASP Kumar and other police officers by members of the AT, the spokesman said the family members of the officer were also intimidated by the assailants by firing bullets, besides vandalising houses and properties.

The officer was also abducted, beaten and later released after timely intervention by the department, he said, adding in connection with this incident numerous concocted narratives are being circulated on various platforms, including social media, leading to character assassination of the officer and the police department as a whole.

"In this regard, it is important for right-thinking people to understand the origin of the event(s) which have led to this unprecedented and unprovoked incident. It is to be informed that on February 27 (afternoon), an information was received about the stealing/snatching of two numbers of cars, by some unknown armed miscreants from government oil depot, located at North AOC.

"Based on this information, the officers -- Kumar, Inspector P Achouba Meitei and other teams -- had conducted a search and intercepted the two vehicles which were stolen/snatched, along with apprehension of one individual who was part of committing the crime.

"Later, in this connection one case was registered at Imphal Police Station under various sections of IPC and Arms Act," the spokesman said.

The spokesman said the members of AT had carried out targeted attacks on the officers as well as attacked the house and properties of the ASP who along with his team have been working tirelessly and contributing to the efforts to ensure law and order in the state, especially Imphal West district.

Besides, the AT is engaging in many anti-social activities like assaulting civilians, snatching of vehicles from public and government officials, they are also indulging in extortion from the common public and businessmen.

"They are garnering false support from the public in the garb of protecting the public but they are committing many anti-social activities and criminal acts. The public must not be misled and give co-operation to Manipur Police in bringing peace and tranquillity back in the state," the spokesman said.

The state has witnessed escalating violence since May 3, 2023 with 219 casualties reported after a "Tribal Solidarity March" in the hill districts protested the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe status.

The Meiteis, constituting around 53 percent of Manipur's population and residing predominantly in the Imphal Valley, contrast the tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, who make up 40 percent and primarily inhabit the hill districts.

Manipur seeks Assam Rifles' help to maintain peace in 6 districts

The Manipur government has sought Assam Rifles' assistance to maintain peace and restore public confidence in six violence-hit districts.

An order issued by the Imphal West district magistrate on Thursday highlighted reports of significant breaches of law and order, notably instances of mob violence.

"The situation has gone beyond the control of the district administration and police," the order said, adding that the services of Assam Rifles has been requisitioned in different parts of the district from February 29 till March 5.

This follows recent events, including a torchlight rally on Wednesday night by thousands of women in Imphal West demanding the termination of the suspension of operations agreement between the central government and Kuki militant groups.

On February 27, around 200 armed men vandalised and fired upon the residence of additional ASP M Amit Singh in Wangkhei, Imphal East district, leading to Singh's abduction and subsequent rescue by security forces.

In response to the escalating situation, other districts such as Bishnupur, Thoubal, Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, and Tengnoupal have also requisitioned the deployment of Assam Rifles to maintain peace and security, officials said.

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