Chief Minister N Biren Singh announced on Sunday that a substantial operation carried out by state police and security forces in Manipur has resulted in the elimination of approximately 40 armed terrorists believed to be associated with Kuki militant groups. Over the course of the past 3-4 days, the region has been plagued by violence, but the concerted efforts of the authorities have led to this significant crackdown. The announcement was made by the Chief Minister in Imphal. Ongoing operations against armed militants continue, with state government officials reporting that casualty figures may potentially rise.
Officials have reported a resurgence of violence, including firing and arson, resulting in the tragic loss of four civilians and one paramilitary personnel. The incidents occurred at various locations since Saturday night.
In an effort to combat the threat posed by terrorist groups utilizing advanced weaponry against innocent civilians, state police have carried out operations in vulnerable areas. As a result of these defensive and retaliatory actions, approximately 40 terrorists have been neutralized in various locations, with a few individuals also apprehended by the security forces. This represents a significant blow to the terrorist organizations and a step towards ensuring the safety and security of the civilian population.
Chief Minister Clarifies Manipur Violence as Armed Terrorists’ Attempt to Destabilize Region
In a recent statement, the Chief Minister clarified that the recent outbreak of violence in Manipur does not involve clashes between two communities. Instead, the conflict arises from armed terrorists aiming to destabilize the region.
The Chief Minister emphasized that the government’s actions were directed towards curbing the activities of Kuki militant groups. These groups had previously entered into a suspension of operations (SoO) agreement with the Central and State governments in August 2008.
Twenty-five Kuki militant groups have officially signed an agreement, with 17 of them operating under the Kuki National Organization and the remaining eight under the United Peoples’ Front. According to the terms of the agreement, the members of these groups are required to reside within designated camps, while their weapons are securely stored under lock and key.
“Violent Ethnic Clashes Rock Manipur, Causing Casualties and Displacement”
The state government, led by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), has made allegations suggesting the potential involvement of militants associated with the Suspended Operation (SoO) groups in the escalation of violence in Manipur. Conversely, Kuki groups have placed blame on two radical organizations, namely Arambai Tenggol and Meitei Leepun, affiliated with the Meitei community, for the recent attacks.
Violent ethnic clashes erupted on May 3rd in Manipur, stemming from the Kuki community’s opposition to granting scheduled tribe (ST) status to the Meitei community, which represents 53% of the population. These clashes have resulted in a tragic toll, with 74 casualties, close to 300 individuals injured, and over 30,000 people displaced. To maintain order, curfews have been imposed across various regions of the northeastern state, with limited relaxations, and internet services have been offline for the past 25 days.
The Kuki community has strongly refuted CM Singh’s assertions that militants from their community were engaged in recent clashes, asserting that the government’s crackdown is yet another deliberate effort to unfairly target their community.
Over 10,000 personnel from the Indian Army and Assam Rifles have been deployed in the troubled northeastern state, with approximately 135 columns dedicated to maintaining law and order.