IMPHAL: A day after curfew was slapped in the twin district of Imphal following an attempt to loot arms from law enforcement on Wednesday, the district administration relaxed the curfew in Imphal East on Thursday.
In a statement issued by the District Magistrate, the prohibitory orders under Section 144 were relaxed from 10 am to 6 pm to “facilitate general public to purchase essential items including medicines and food items, etc.”
The statement, however, categorically mentioned that the relaxation, “shall, however, not apply to any gatherings, large scale movement of persons, sit-in protests and rallies etc.”
Earlier on Wednesday, a mob tried to gherao a Manipur Police office complex demanding arms in Imphal, prompting the authorities to order firing of several rounds in the air and withdraw curfew relaxations in two districts, officials had informed the press.
Reportedly, the decision to reimpose the curfew came following the attempt by a group of people to gherao the 1st Manipur Rifles complex, close to Raj Bhavan and Chief Minister’s Office in Imphal West district, demanding weapons.
Tension had been brewing in the state capital after an on-duty sub-divisional police officer at Moreh town was shot dead by armed miscreants on the morning of October 31.
According to a national news agency, this incident follows weeks of demands by various civil society organisations, particularly those in Moreh, to remove state forces from the border town.
The situation was further compounded by the recent arrests of more than ten Myanmarese individuals who were allegedly involved in theft and illegal entry into Indian territory.
In another incident on October 31, three police personnel suffered bullet injuries when militants ambushed a convoy of the state force at Sinam in Tengnoupal district. According to reports, the convoy was sent to Moreh as reinforcement to assist in conducting operations in the border town.