Manipur violence continues as conflict shifts to police-militant clashes
Amid escalating violence in Manipur, a recent incident has highlighted how the conflict in the region has shifted its course to police-militant clashes. On Thursday, a confrontation between security forces and suspected Kuki militants in Bishnupur district resulted in the death of one Manipur police commando and injuries to five others. This incident occurred just one day after a gunfight in Imphal East district’s Pukhao area, which left one Assam Rifles personnel injured.
Manipur violence: Long-existing
In Tronglaobi, a police team was patrolling the area when fresh firing occurred and reports suggest, suspected militants engaged in indiscriminate firing on the police team who were travelling on a vehicle. As a result, one policeman died on the spot, and five others were injured. The injured personnel were promptly transferred to several hospitals in Imphal for treatment.
Manipur Education Minister, Th Basanta Singh, confirmed the incident and stated that the shootout took place around 7 am. He also mentioned the possibility of casualties on the militant side.
The conflict in Manipur has a long and complicated history, involving various ethnic groups vying for control and influence in the region. The state has seen multiple waves of violence, including inter-tribal clashes, insurgency movements, and political unrest. The police-militant clash in Tronglaobi has highlighted the fragility of the peace process in the region, further exacerbating the already complex and challenging situation of managing the conflict in Manipur.
Despite efforts by authorities to contain the violence, sporadic incidents of violence continue to occur. In an attempt to address the repeated incidents of firing between armed groups and security forces, the Manipur Police and Assam Rifles have initiated inspections of designated militant camps under the Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement.
However, the effectiveness of this measure remains uncertain as violence persists in the peripheral areas of Imphal. Minister Th Basanta Singh said that the state force and Assam Rifles have started inspecting the SoO camps and verifying the armed men present in those camps.
In another incident, reports suggest armed miscreants reportedly abducted three Meitei villagers on Thursday morning in Torbung Bangla, Bishnupur district, while they were obtaining supplies from their village after staying in a relief camp in Moirang. On Wednesday, unidentified miscreants opened fire in Imphal East district, injuring an Assam Rifles jawan.
Additionally, over 180 Imphal-bound goods-laden trucks were forced to return from Kangpokpi, a Kuki-dominated district which is about 43 km away from Imphal, towards Senapati district after a large number of people blocked the Kangpokpi stretch of National Highway-2.
Despite these sporadic incidents of violence, Minister Th Basanta on Thursday claimed that the “overall situation” in the state has significantly improved to a great extent with the successful deployment of troops in sensitive areas.