IMPHAL: Tension flared between the Manipur Police and Assam Rifles in Manipur on August 8 after the former accused the Central paramilitary force of obstructing their vehicle during a search operation in an arms act case along Kwakta’s Pholjang Road.
However, local press quoted defense sources stating that the Assam Rifles’ actions were part of their assigned task to maintain the buffer zones between the Kuki and Meitiei areas.
Filed on August 5, the FIR alleges that the Assam Rifles halted police vehicles on the Kwakta Gothol road in Bishnupur district. The police claimed that the 9 Assam Rifles unit parked their ‘Casper’ vehicle to block the road and prevent the police from conducting a search operation targeting Kuki militants in the area.
A news wire agency has quoted sources from the Imphal secretariat revealing that the Army is strongly addressing the matter with the state government at a high level.
Earlier on August 7, the 9 Assam Rifles were replaced by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at a crucial check post at Moirang Lamkhai on the Bishnpur-Kangvai road. Additional Director General of Manipur Police (Law and Order) L Lailun, on Monday evening, had said that from now on, the Manipur police and CRPF will be responsible for manning the check post.
The decision was taken following the demands of several women vigilante groups, who had called for the withdrawal of the Assam Rifles from the state after the paramilitary force opened blank fire and tear gas on a group of women protesters on August 3. Over 50 women were injured in the incident.