IMPHAL – At least 60 people, including women, have been killed and 231 people injured while 1,700 houses have been burned down in the ethnic violence in Manipur since May 3, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said on Monday.
He announced that a high-level inquiry would be conducted to fix responsibility on persons and groups who instigated the violence and government servants who didn’t meet their responsibilities. So far 35,655 persons, hit by the violence, including 1,593 students, have been moved to safer locations, Singh told the media.
Around 10,000 people remain stranded, he said, adding that Union Home Minister Amit Shah has been monitoring the situation from the first day of the incident till Monday. The Home Minister has sent 50 companies of Central forces to help the 105 columns of Army and Assam Rifles to deal with the violence, Singh added.
He said that the miscreants and the agitators snatched 1,041 arms and 7,460 pieces of ammunition from the security forces and so far, 214 arms and 4,273 pieces of ammunition were recovered.
The Chief Minister has announced Rs five lakh as compensation to the next of kin to the deceased, Rs two lakh for grievous injuries and Rs 25, 000 for non-grievous injuries, while appealing for peace.
“I appeal to all not to spread or believe unfounded and baseless rumours. I appeal to people to bring peace and calm to the state. Transportation of stranded persons to their respective locations has started,” he said.
Singh said that all those persons stranded at different locations in Manipur are being provided best possible care and support in safe locations and shelter camps.
On May 3, unprecedented violent clashes, attacks and arson broke out at various places during a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ called by the All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur (ATSUM) to oppose the demand for inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe category.
Acting on a writ petition filed by the Meetei (Meitei) Trade Union, the Manipur High Court’s acting Chief Justice M.V. Muralidaran on April 19 had directed the state government to submit the recommendation for inclusion of Meitei (Meetei) community in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) list to the Union Tribal Affairs Ministry.
In view of the prevailing unrest in Manipur, the Central government has already imposed Article 355 in the state to bring the situation under control. Article 355 is part of emergency provisions contained in the Constitution that empowers the Centre to take all necessary steps to protect a state against internal disturbances or external aggression. -IANS