In response to the recent outbreak of violence in Manipur, the Indian Army and Assam Rifles were deployed to assist local authorities in maintaining peace and rescuing civilians affected by the unrest. According to a statement released by the Indian Army on Sunday, the rescue operations have so far been successful in relocating nearly 23,000 civilians to safety at operating bases.
The statement also reported that there have been no major incidents of violence since the rescue operation began, resulting in a partial relaxation of the curfew in Churachandpur. The curfew hours have been revised and are now from 7 am to 10 am. The Indian Army attributed this progress to the tireless efforts of the 120-125 Army and Assam Rifles columns working around the clock to rescue civilians across all communities and restore normalcy in the area. Security forces are also scheduled to carry out a flag march immediately following the curfew relaxation.
“Total 23000 civilians have been rescued till now and were moved to own operating bases/ military Garrisons,” it added.
Earlier on May 3, owing to tension over the move to protect forests in the face of resistance from illegal immigrants and also the High Court’s direction to include Meitei in scheduled tribes, the district administration imposed a complete curfew in violence-hit Churachandpur in Manipur.
As per the statement, the past 24 hours also witnessed Army significantly enhancing surveillance efforts through aerial surveillance, movement of UAVs and redeployment of Army Helicopters within Imphal Valley.
Manipur Government had requisitioned Army and Assam Rifles on May 3 and 4.
State’s Director General of Police P Doungel has said that the situation in the State has improved after the intervention of security forces.
Forces including RAF, BSF and CRPF have been deployed in Manipur, he said and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) chief Kuldiep Singh, has been appointed as the security advisor.
The State government has also appointed Additional Director-General of Police (Intelligence), Ashutosh Sinha as the overall operational commander to control the situation in Manipur, the State DGP said.
The Army in a statement earlier on Friday said that situation in Manipur had been brought under control through coordinated actions by all stakeholders.
“The situation has been brought under control through coordinated actions by all stakeholders. IAF undertook continuous sorties from two airfields in Assam employing C17 Globemaster and AN 32 aircraft,” Indian Army had stated
Violence had erupted in the immediate aftermath of inter-community clashes in a few districts of the northeastern State amid protests against the inclusion of the majority Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category.