IMPHAL: In a fresh bout of violence at Narainsena in Bishnupur, two people died and several others were injured in a fierce exchange of gunfire between rival groups on Tuesday, the local police told the press. The incident unfolded mere hours before the scheduled start of the most-anticipated state assembly session.
According to reports, a village defense volunteer (VDV), who had taken refuge in a relief camp, fell victim to a sudden explosion triggered by his mishandling of a bomb. Later, in the aftermath of the explosion, another individual succumbed to gunshot injuries. Seven individuals, injured during the confrontation, have been transported to a government hospital.
In an unrelated development, security forces conducted separate operations in Imphal East and Bishnupur districts, leading to the arrest of four militants affiliated with distinct groups. Notably, two detainees were identified as members of the NSCN-IM and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), while the remaining pair were overground operatives of the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP).
The security forces also seized seven looted firearms, 25 distinct types of ammunition, and nine formidable explosives from Bishnupur and Thoubal districts over the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the Manipur Assembly’s single-day session was abruptly adjourned sine die within an hour of its initiation as uproarious scenes unfolded. Congress MLAs spearheaded the commotion, fervently demanding an extension of the session duration to five days.
Opposition members, led by former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, voiced their concern that a solitary day was inadequate for comprehensively addressing the prevailing tumultuous circumstances in the ethnically divided state.
Notably, all 10 Kuki MLAs, including seven from the BJP, were conspicuously absent from the proceedings. The session was kickstarted at 11 am with a two-minute silence honouring the lives lost in the ongoing unrest, which erupted on May 3.
Swiftly thereafter, Congress legislators raised a collective cry of “stop mockery, let’s save democracy”, forcefully demanding the extension of the session duration. Later, the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee, in a press conference, deemed the session a “dark day” in India’s parliamentary democracy.
The last assembly session of the state was held in March, and as per established norms, sessions should convene every six months.