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HomemanipurManipur tribals protest deployment of ‘additional’ police commandos in border town Moreh

Manipur tribals protest deployment of ‘additional’ police commandos in border town Moreh

Churachandpur (Manipur): A section of tribal women in Manipur’s Moreh town bordering Myanmar has been protesting against the deployment of “additional” police commandos for the past few days.

Women are on a sit-in at Chikim village, around 3 km from Tengnoupal district’s Moreh, a Kuki majority town.

Officials said that a commandant of the Assam Rifles and other security officers held a series of talks with the protestors in the last few days but the issue is yet to be addressed.

Several tribal organisations such as the Kuki Inpi and the Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU) claimed that efforts are on to induct more police personnel drawn from Imphal Valley in the town and this might disturb peace.

“Despite the strong presence of para-military forces and Indian Army manning the buffer zones and securing tranquillity within Moreh, the deployment of additional Meitei police through night choppers is of grave concern,” COTU said in a statement.

It claimed that the recovery of arms and ammunition in recent operations in Imphal East district is “stage-managed” to malign the community.

Kuki Inpi also demanded removal of the checkpoints allegedly set up by Meiteis in Kakching Lamkhai and Wangjing areas along the Imphal-Moreh road, where essential commodities that were transported to Moreh and Tengnoupal sub-division are being ‘blocked’.

More than 180 people have lost their lives since ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3, when 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, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mostly in the hill districts.

(Published 22 October 2023, 08:10 IST)

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