Looted arms in Manipur still at large; Over 1600 evacuated

Imphal, May 20: Security Advisor to Manipur Government Kuldeep Singh in a press briefing at the chief minister’s secretariat told journalists that 488 arms and about 6,800 ammunition looted during the ethnic violence have been recovered. Apart from the weapons and ammunition recovery, Assam Rifles recovered 10Kg of explosives and 2000 detonators of BIPL, he informed.

He also told that the State was slowly returning to normalcy.

The Security Advisor also informed that surprise checking of Suspension of Operation (SoO) camps are being conducted. “The presence of cadres is increasing”, he said on Saturday.

Must read | Manipur top cop P Doungel dismisses 10 Kuki MLAs claims about State police

Chief Minister N Biren Singh recently told media that the Union Home Minister Amit Shah had assured that the Centre is putting efforts to bring back missing cadres of Kuki outfits under SoO to their designated camps and ease away public apprehension over the involvement of armed miscreants in prevailing crisis through Joint Monitoring Committee, consisting of State and Central forces.

According to a news report in The Indian Express, more than 1,000 weapons and 10,000 rounds were looted from Manipur Police Training College, two police stations, and an IRB battalion camp in Imphal by Meities during the first few days of the violence. Without mentioning the figure, the report also added that police stations in Churachandpur were attacked and looted by Kukis.

Kuldeep Singh in the press briefing on Saturday also informed that CAPF and Assam Rifles evacuated 1173 stranded people from Kangpokpi to Churachandpur, while 454 from Churachandpur to Kangpokpi.

Must read | Mega Mass rally held in Thoubal dist; demands govt to enforce NRC in Manipur

Meanwhile, the valley Meitei/Meetei groups have upped the anti to pressure the government to abrogate SoO agreements with Kuki militant groups. A mega mass rally joined by thousands of Meitei/Meiteis in Imphal valley was held on Saturday at Thoubal Haokha along NH-102 against illegal immigrants in Manipur, immediate implementation of National Register of Citizens (NRC), and abrogation of Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement with Kuki militants.

Also read | All India Congress Committee accuses Manipur govt, ‘not doing enough’

The Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and United People’s Front (UPF), two umbrella groups of Kuki militants, had signed a tripartite SoO agreement with the governments of India and Manipur on August 22, 2008. Since then, the government has been extending the agreement after its expiration. The SoO agreement with the UG groups was again extended this year with effect from March 1, 2023 till February 29, 2024.

It may be mentioned that the Kuki-Zomi tribals and Meitei/Meetei community witnessed never seen mass exodus in Manipur’s history — the Kuki-Zomi tribals shifting out from Imphal valley; Meiteis/Meeteis from hills leaving for Imphal valley in the vicious ethnic violence the State has seen in thirty years claiming the lives of over 70 people.

Must read | Call for ending SoO with Kuki UGs by 34 MLAs gets louder, 4 more MLAs join demand

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