25 Arrested With Guns In Manipur Ahead Of Amit Shah’s Visit

25 Arrested With Guns In Manipur Ahead Of Amit Shah’s Visit

Security has been further tightened ahead of Amit Shah’s three-day visit. (file)


25 armed men who were allegedly planning to carry out an attack on security forces in Imphal’s East District in Manipur have been caught and weapons recovered from them by Army’s multiple Mobile Vehicle Check Posts (MVCP), an official statement from the Indian Army said.

“Responding to specific intelligence about armed miscreants venturing out to burning houses in Sanasabi, Gwaltabi and Shabunkhol Khunao in the hilly region of Imphal East District, the Army mobilised columns on May 28 to establish multiple Mobile Vehicle Check Posts (MVCP) and undertake search operations in the area. While operating in the area, the Army columns were fired upon from automatic weapons by miscreants who were trying to burn the houses,” it said.

The Army said the accused had weapons and other “war-like stores”. Five 12 bore double barrel rifles, three single-barrel rifles, one country-made weapon with double bore and one muzzle-loaded weapon were recovered, the statement said, adding that. “swift action by Army averted loss of precious lives and multiple incidents of arson.”

An MVCP noticed a suspected passenger car approaching with four passengers in it on Sunday night. On being challenged, they got down from the car and attempted to run, but were caught, the Army had earlier said.

An INSAS Rifle with a magazine, 60 rounds of 5.56 mm ammunition, a Chinese hand grenade, and one detonator were also recovered.

Security has been further tightened in violence-hit Manipur ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s three-day visit to Manipur this evening, as security forces are engaged in an intense gunfight with militants in several districts.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh and Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai reviewed the security situation in the northeastern state along with several top officials earlier today.

Amit Shah is expected to hold several rounds of security meetings to assess the prevailing situation, speak with all stakeholders and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and finalise strategies to restore peace and normalcy at the earliest, an official said.

Army, central paramilitary, Manipur Police commandos, Rapid Action Force of Manipur, and other police personnel continue combing operations in the Imphal valley and surrounding districts, the official said.

Amit Shah has appealed to both the Meiteis and the Kukis to maintain calm and peace and work towards bringing normalcy.

Mr Shah earlier held a series of meetings with the representatives of the Meitei and Kuki communities and other stakeholders to review the measures being taken for restoring peace in the state.

Army Chief General Manoj Pande also went to Manipur on Saturday to review the law and order situation.

At least five people, including a policeman, were killed, and 12 others injured after fresh violence erupted in Manipur yesterday, where ethnic clashes have claimed at least 80 lives.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh yesterday said that “40 terrorists” have been shot dead over the last couple of days.

“The terrorists have been using M-16 and AK-47 assault rifles and sniper guns against civilians. They came to many villages to burn down homes. We have started taking very strong action against them with the help of the army and other security forces. We have got reports some 40 terrorists have been shot dead,” Mr Singh told reporters.

The violence erupted across the state last month, when tribal groups, mainly Kukis, protested against a demand by the Meitei community to be included in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category, which would give them reservation benefits and access to forest lands.

The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.

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