IMPHAL: Unidentified individuals set two abandoned houses on fire in Manipur’s Imphal West district in the early hours of August 2. Fire tenders in the Langol area helped to extinguish the blaze, and fortunately, no injuries were reported during the incident.
The attack apparently occurred during a transition period when the security of the houses was changing hands from the Army to CRPF personnel.
The incident is reported to have taken place amidst a tense and volatile situation in the Meitei-majority district with security forces conducting search operations in vulnerable and fringe areas. The district has witnessed an exodus of tribal residents since ethnic rioting erupted in May 3.
Meanwhile, Kom Union Manipur president Serto Ahao Kom (45) was hospitalised after being physically assaulted by militants near Chingphei village in Churachandpur district on the night of August 1. The attack allegedly stemmed from accusations of his links with Meitei bodies such as Arambai Tengol, Meitei Leepun, and COCOMI.
To address the unrest, the Manipur government extended the curfew relaxation period in Imphal East and West districts by one hour, now allowing movement from 5 am to 8 pm. This decision was made in light of improvements in the law and order situation, allowing the public to access essential items, including medicines and food items.
Since the ethnic clashes began in Manipur on May 3, over 160 people have lost their lives, and hundreds have been injured. Meiteis constitute about 53% of Manipur’s population and reside mainly in the Imphal Valley, while Nagas and Kukis, the tribal communities, account for a little over 40% and live in the hill districts. The ongoing violence in Manipur remains a significant concern for the Centre and state government.