Ethnic violence between the tribal groups and the Meiti community continues to wreak havoc in Manipur as more than 9,000 people have been displaced and the Army has been called in to restore normalcy.
Urging people to maintain peace, Chief Minister N Biren Singh said, "Precious lives have been lost, besides damage to property, which is very unfortunate", without giving any details of the number of dead or injured.
The Manipur government has given shoot-at-sight orders as the last resort to control the spiraling violence in the state which started on Wednesday (May 3). Mobile internet services have been suspended in the state for five days and curfew has been imposed in eight districts.
The latest developments: In a fresh move, the Central government has taken charge of the security in Manipur by promulgating Article 355. The provision of Article 355 states that it is the duty of the Union government to protect every state against external aggression and internal disturbance, India Today reported.
Home Minister Amit Shah reviews the situation: Union Home Minister Amit Shah earlier spoke to the CM of Manipur N Biren Singh and took stock of the situation.
Amit Shah is also said to have cancelled a rally in poll-bound Karnataka. and is reviewing the security situation in Manipur.
The home minister also spoke to the chief ministers of the neighbouring states, including Neiphiu Rio (Nagaland) Zoramthanga (Mizoram) and Himanta Biswa Sarma (Assam).
The MHA has appointed Kuldiep Singh, the former Director General of CRPF as the CM’s security advisor.
What happened? Fresh violence broke out on Wednesday as thousands of people turned out at arally organised by the All Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM) to protest the inclusion of Meitis in the ST category. Nearly 60,000 people said to have attended the rally as violence broke out in the Torbung area of Churachandpur.
According to the sources who spoke to India Today, the protesters belonged to the Kuki tribal militant group.
Since then, violence has continued unabated in the state with vandalism, destruction of properties, with clashes between the Meities and the tribals. The Rapid Action Force (RPF), Army, CRPF and Assam Rifles were deployed by the state to contain the violence.
Manipur CM’s appeal: After his meeting with Amit Shah, Manipur CM N Biren Singh has appealed to the people in a video message to maintain peace and harmony.
The CM attributed the violence to a misunderstanding between the people of the two sections of the society, and said that the government was taking steps to control it, The Hindu reported.