Imphal: While report of looted weapons being surrendered or recovered by the security forces in Manipur stood at around 500 arms, including thousands of ammunition, and 10 Kg of explosives and 2000 detonators of BIPL as per security advisor to Manipur Government Kuldeep Singh, in a revealing press briefing, Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan has said the situation in Manipur is nothing to do with counter-insurgency and is primarily a clash between two ethnicities.
CDS General Anil Chauhan also said “It’s a law and order kind of situation and we are helping the state govt. We’ve done an excellent job and saved a large number of lives. The challenges in Manipur have not disappeared and it will take some time but hopefully, they should settle down.”
A report in The Indian Express on Tuesday said, sources in the security establishment said the fact that many were armed with weapons, mostly “looted” from armouries in Imphal, was making it difficult to quell the violence. “In most cases, the arms have not been looted, but rather handed over. People of a specific community in the administration want to help their brethren in this conflict situation,” said an officer who is currently in Manipur to the national news paper.
Further, sources privy to The Indian Express reported that miscreants from both the Kuki and Meitei communities had clashed with security forces over the past few days. “Former CRPF DG Kuldiep Singh, who was appointed security advisor to the Manipur government in the wake of the May 3 violence, said the militants could not be identified as belonging to Kuki SoO groups,” the report added.
N Biren while briefing media persons on Sunday said that the fight is between “armed terrorists trying to disintegrate Manipur and the State government assisted by the Centre”. Over retaliatory and defensive operations against the terrorist groups who are using sophisticated arms against the civilian population, around 30 of these terrorists have been killed in different areas. N Biren also added a few have also been arrested by the security forces. However, Manipur chief minister’s accusation is being challenged by the Kuki tribals and other news outlets as “Tribal Village Volunteers” defending their villages reportedly from the aggression of Meitei miscreants shielded by Manipur police commandos as reported by The Hills Journal.