An attempt was also made to loot weapons from Iringbam police station in Imphal West. However, no weapons were stolen.
IMPHAL/KOLKATA: Two civilians were injured as mobs clashed with security forces overnight in Imphal town and attempts were made to torch the houses of BJP leaders, officials said on Saturday. In separate incidents, automatic gunfire was reported from Kwakta in Bishnupur district of Manipur and Kangvai in Churachandpur district through the night.
An attempt was also made to loot weapons from Iringbam police station in Imphal West. However, no weapons were stolen. Army, Assam Rifles and Manipur Rapid Action Force held joint marches till midnight through the state capital to halt rioters from congregating. A mob of approximately 1,000 people came together to try and burn down buildings near the palace compound.
RAF fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Another mob tried to set the house of Biswajeet, MLA on fire. RAF column, however, dispersed the crowd. Another mob surrounded the BJP office post midnight at Sinjemai, but could not do any harm as an Army column dispersed it. Similarly, a crowd tried to vandalise the home of Sharda Devi, BJP (women’s wing) president near Porampet in Imphal around midnight. Security forces managed to disperse the youth.
Earlier in the day, crowds set up roadblocks and torched properties in the heart of Imphal town on Friday, officials said. Among others, a house belonging to Union Minister RK Ranjan Singh was attacked and attempts were made to burn it down on Thursday night. A warehouse near the royal palace belonging to a retired tribal IAS officer was burnt down completely on Friday.
Security guards and firefighters managed to control arson attempts by the mob and save the house of the minister of state for External Affairs here from being gutted on Thursday night. A mob clashed with RAF personnel on Friday evening after it had set the warehouse afire. The group also burnt tyres, logs and waste in the middle of roads in Wangkhei, Porompat and Thangapat areas affecting the flow of traffic in Manipur’s capital town, officials said.
More than 100 people have lost their lives in the ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki community people in Manipur that broke out a month ago. The state government has imposed a curfew on 11 districts and banned internet services in a bid to stop the spread of rumours in the state. Clashes first broke out on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals – Nagas and Kukis – constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.