IMPHAL: A policeman was killed in Imphal West and a huge cache of arms and ammunition, including automatic weapons, were looted by mobs from two police stations in Bishnupur district of Manipur, in two separate incidents on August 3.
According to a statement issued by the police, the officer was shot in the head by a snipper during a fierce gun battle in Senjam Chirang, Imphal West. In this dreadful clash, a village volunteer also suffered injuries. The hostile confrontation took place across Koutruk, Haraothel, and Senjam Chirang areas, as recounted by the authorities.
The sheer intensity of the exchange of fire attracted a massive crowd, numbering around 500 to 600 individuals, at Phougakchao Ikhai, located at the border between Bishnupur and Churachandpur districts. To disperse this unruly mob, the security forces took recourse to tear gas shells, causing approximately 25 minor injuries.
In another incident, mobs ransacked the Kirenphabi Police outpost and Thangalawai Police outpost of the Manipur Armed Police second battalion in Bishnupur district, seizing a substantial number of weapons. The mob tried to seize arms and ammunition from Heingang and Singjamei police stations as well, but security forces thwarted their attack.
Responding swiftly to the escalating crisis, authorities established 129 checkpoints throughout both the hill and valley districts of Manipur. As a result, approximately 1,047 individuals have been detained in connection with violations in various districts across the state.
In the aftermath of these distressing events, the situation in the state remains precariously volatile and tense. Incidents of firing and unruly mob gatherings continue to erupt in different places, as disclosed in the police statement over the last 24 hours.
Prior to these harrowing clashes on August 3, the authorities imposed a daytime curfew in Imphal East and West, after 17 individuals were injured in altercations the previous day. To restore order and disperse the agitated crowd, the Army and Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel resorted to using tear gas shells in Kangvai and Phougakchao, Bishnupur district.
Earlier in the day, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) made a difficult decision to postpone a planned mass burial of 35 victims of the violence for five days, following discussions with the Union Home Ministry.