Manipur is facing fresh incidents of violence have erupted, plunging the capital city of Imphal West district into chaos. On Thursday, during the early hours, the situation turned unstable as the Military and Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel used tear gas to disperse a protest, resulting in clashes with the crowd.
As a result of the raising violence, the Office of District Magistrate swiftly revoked a previous order that allowed relaxation of the curfew in the city and instead imposed a total curfew in the district with immediate effect.
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The protest, which turned violent, has reportedly left 17 people harmed, featuring the seriousness of the circumstance. The ethnic conflict in Manipur has been progressing, with conflicts between the Meitei and Kuki-Naga communities causing significant unrest and resulting in a large number of casualties.
The recent events have further fueled tension and unrest in the region, prompting authorities to take stringent measures to maintain law and order.
Earlier on the same day, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) had arranged a mass burial for the 35 individuals who lost their lives during the ethnic violence in Manipur. However, the burial service was delayed by five days because of another turn of events.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) requested the ITLF to delay the burial, assuring them that the The primary demand of the ITLF was the legalization of the burial site in Churachandpur district.
In response to the rising tensions and to prevent any further escalation, authorities also reimposed the day curfew in both Imphal East and Imphal West districts. The decision to impose curfew restrictions during the day was taken as a precautionary measure to curb any potential disturbances that could arise.
The ethnic conflicts in Manipur have had expansive ramifications on the impacted communities, prompting thousands of people being rendered homeless.
The conflict centers around the proposed government policy to grant special status to the Meitei community, which has sparked animosity between the Meiteis and the Christian Kukis. With communal sentiments running high, the situation remains volatile, and clashes have become a frequent occurrence.
The Kuki community had arranged the mass burial as a characteristic of regard and recognition for the individuals who lost their lives during the violence. Nonetheless, complaints raised by the Meitei community incited the MHA’s intervention, prompting the delay of the burial.
The decision has been met with mixed responses, and the ITLF has insisted on receiving written assurance from the MHA regarding their demands.
In the result of the conflicts in Bishnupur district, the state government has done whatever it takes to keep up with peace and order. The authorities have intensified security measures, deploying additional forces in potential conflict areas to prevent any further outbreak of violence.
The Manipur High Court also played a role in maintaining security by instructing the maintenance of security deployments, considering the possibility of large gatherings from both communities at the proposed burial site. The court’s intervention aimed to prevent any actions that could aggravate the already delicate situation.
The Coordinating Committee on Manipur integrity, addressing the Meitei community, has given five demands to the government. These requests include legalizing the burial site in Torbung, the withdrawal of state police forces from the hill districts, the safety of Kuki communities, and the speedy separation of Kuki administration from Meiteis.
As the circumstance stays fluid, everyone is focused on the developments in Manipur. The government’s reaction to the demands and the manner in which forward will decide if harmony and stability can be reestablished in the conflict torn state.
The imposition of the total curfew indicates the gravity of the situation, and it remains crucial for all parties involved to engage in dialogue and find a peaceful resolution to the longstanding issues at hand. Only through dialogue and understanding can Manipur hope to move towards a path of reconciliation and progress.
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