Manipur violence

Imphal, June 22: In a concerning turn of events, Manipur witnessed a bout of violence as armed miscreants opened fire in N Boljang village of Imphal West district. Two soldiers belonging to Assam Rifles sustained injuries during the exchange of fire, although their condition is reported to be stable, according to an official familiar with the incident.

The incident occurred around 5 am, with miscreants initiating the firing. Assam Rifles teams promptly retaliated, bringing the situation under control. The operation is still ongoing, and one INSAS rifle, previously looted from a police station, was recovered from the spot, as stated by the aforementioned officer.

Reports indicate that there have been casualties among the miscreants involved in the firing as well. The official Twitter account of SpearCorps.IndianArmy confirmed the occurrence of the exchange, noting that armed miscreants resorted to unprovoked firing in N Boljang, Imphal West District during the morning hours of June 22. To minimize collateral damage, the troops responded strategically. The recovery of an INSAS light machine gun during the initial search was also mentioned. Additional columns were deployed, and the operations are currently in progress.

In another district, intermittent firing was reported between armed miscreants and Assam Rifles between 2 am and 3 am in Harothel, Kangpokpi. The Assam Rifles team had been dispatched to the area upon receiving reports of miscreants firing.

As of Friday afternoon, neither the security forces nor the state government had confirmed the number of casualties resulting from the firing incidents.

Just hours prior to these events, a suspected improvised explosive device (IED) blast occurred in a vehicle in Bishnupur, causing injuries to three teenagers. The injured individuals were admitted to two different hospitals in Bishnupur for treatment.

The blast took place in Bishnupur’s Kwakta area, where an SUV parked on the road was targeted. Eyewitnesses informed security personnel that the blast occurred shortly after the driver parked the vehicle near a culvert on the main road around 7:15 pm. The three teenagers, who were in the vicinity, sustained injuries and were swiftly transported to the Bishnupur hospital. Authorities suspect the blast to be an IED explosion and are currently investigating the incident.

The clashes in Manipur originally erupted on May 3 in Churachandpur town when tribal Kuki groups called for protests against a proposed adjustment to the state’s reservation matrix, which aimed to grant scheduled tribe (ST) status to the majority Meitei community.

Since then, violence has spread throughout the state, displacing tens of thousands of people who have sought refuge in jungles, often crossing state borders to escape the turmoil.

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In response, the authorities imposed a curfew, suspended internet services, and deployed additional security forces to curb the escalating clashes. Tragically, the clashes have resulted in at least 115 deaths and over 300 injuries, with nearly 40,000 individuals displaced from their homes.

Internet connectivity in the state remains limited as authorities fear that the circulation of photos, videos containing hate messages, and fake reports may exacerbate the violence, hindering the restoration of normalcy.

In an effort to address the situation in the violence-hit state, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has called for an all-party meeting on June 24 in New Delhi.

“The Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah has convened an all-party meeting on 24th June at 3 PM in New Delhi to discuss the situation in Manipur,” stated the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) via a tweet.