Toll 54, 'wary normalcy' in Manipur; makeshift camps in govt buildings : The Tribune India

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Toll 54, 'wary normalcy' in Manipur; makeshift camps in govt buildings

BJP MLA moves SC against tribal status to Meiteis

Toll 54, 'wary normalcy' in Manipur; makeshift camps in govt buildings

Security men check vehicles in the aftermath of violence, in Imphal. ANI



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 6

A total of 54 persons lost their lives in the ethnic violence which erupted in Manipur on Wednesday, officials said, noting that life was returning to a “wary normalcy” in affected areas on Saturday with shops and markets reopening and cars plying on the roads.

The officials said in most of the affected areas, the situation had been under “firm control” of the Army, paramilitary forces and the local administration. Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju today appealed for calm in the state and called for a dialogue between ethnic communities on the sidelines of an event in Delhi. He said, “Many lives have been lost and there is damage to property. Be it Meiteis or Kukis, both belong to the same state and need to live together… Society can progress only if there is peace.”

Fearing for life, 1,100 move to Assam

  • Over 1,100 persons from Manipur’s Jiribam district crossed over to Assam
  • Most of them belonged to the Kuki community; say their houses were destroyed
  • Claim rioters attacked them with stones, threatened them and said this was their final war
  • Shifted to Assam’s Cachar district as they fear threat to life even as the Army has secured most of the affected areas

Several makeshift camps at various government buildings have been set up for refugees from the areas hit by riots, which broke out both in Imphal Valley and hill districts surrounding it.

Over 13,000 people have taken refuge in shelters set up by the Army and the government as well as locals, while many others have crossed over to neighbouring states of Assam, Mizoram and Nagaland, reports from Imphal said.

Nearly 10,000 Army, paramilitary and central police forces have been deployed in the state where rioting broke out after demonstrations were organised by tribals, including Kukis and Nagas, on Wednesday against a move to give the majority Meitei community, the Scheduled Tribe status.

A Defence spokesperson said the Army brought Churachandpur, Moreh, Kakching and Kangpokpi districts under its “firm control”.

Security forces have set up roadblocks and cordons in areas where various militant groups, which seemed to have joined the ethnic rioting, had engaged the military in gunfire on Friday night.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Saturday held an all-party meeting, which was attended by leaders from the Congress, NPF, NPP, CPI (M), AAP and the Shiv Sena.

Meanwhile, five hill-based militants were killed and two soldiers were injured in two separate encounters in Churachandpur district last night, the police said.

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