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Manipur violence: Amit Shah holds meetings over 2 video conference, speaks to neighbouring CMs
New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday held two meetings over video-conferencing and spoke with the chief ministers of Manipur and its neighbouring states, over the disruption law and order in the Northeast state after tribal groups took out rallies in several districts there, sources said.
Manipur CM N Biren Singh, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, Director Intelligence Bureau Tapan Deka and officials concerned in the state as well as in the Centre took part in the two video conferences. The Home Minister also spoke with the chief ministers of neighbouring states, asking them to be more cautious until the situation in Manipur is controlled properly.
The Home minister also assured all possible help to maintain peace in Manipur and deploy more central security forces in the state to enforce order.
According to sources, the Home Minister has been personally monitoring the situation in Manipur.
Earlier in the day, the Home minister spoke to Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh. In the telephonic conversation with the CM, the Home minister was apprised of the present situation and the steps being taken by the state government to control it, said sources
Sources also pointed out that major deployment of security forces is being done in Manipur.
"Several companies of BSF, CRPF and Assam Rifles along with the Army were deployed in the state yesterday and today. Further deployment of security forces will be done tomorrow as well. Maximum deployment of CRPF is being done in the hill state," a source said.
According to sources, five companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) were dispatched to Manipur earlier on Thursday. However, an adequate number of Army, Assam Rifles and other Central Armed Police Forces are already deployed at the violence-torn areas to control the situation. The RRAF is a specialised wing of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to deal with riot and crowd control situations.
To tackle the worsening law and order situation after tribal groups took out rallies in several districts of Manipur, the state government suspended mobile internet for five days. Along with a ban on large gatherings, a night curfew, too, has been imposed in several districts of the state.
In view of the situation, a curfew has been imposed in non-tribal-dominated Imphal West, Kakching, Thoubal, Jiribam, and Bishnupur districts, and tribal-dominated Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, and Tengnoupal districts.
The Manipur government, in a statement, said, "Internet services suspended in Manipur for five days amid incidents of fighting among youths, and volunteers of different communities as a rally was organised by All Tribals Students Union (ATSU) Manipur in protest against the demand for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the ST category."
It is believed that two issues in the state are believed to have led to the prevailing situation.
First, CM Biren Singh's move to protect the forest faces resistance from illegal immigrants and drug cartels, and the second is linked to the Manipur High Court's recent direction to the state government to consider the inclusion of Meitei in the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs), which led to an outburst from the tribal communities which are already on the scheduled list.
Violence broke out during the 'Tribal Solidarity March' called by the All Tribal Student Union Manipur (ATSUM) in the Torbung area of Churachandpur district to protest the demand of non-tribal Meiteis, who dominate the Imphal Valley, for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Thousands of tribals, who make up about 40 per cent of the state's population, joined the processions, waved placards and raised slogans opposing ST status for the Meitei community. (ANI)