Center “Manipur Valley Protests Turn Violent: Women Surround Police Stations”

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Protests in Manipur’s valley demanding the release of individuals in camouflage uniforms turned violent when a large group of women protesters surrounded various police stations on Thursday. The situation escalated at Singjamei police station in Imphal West, where the officer in charge’s residence was vandalized. Police and security personnel responded with teargas shells, resulting in three civilians being injured.

Stakeholders in Meitei society, including the civil society organization COCOMI and influential Meira Paibis, have called for the withdrawal of Assam Rifles from the state. This marks a rare instance of Meitei civil society members expressing anger towards the state police in the valley, which is predominantly made up of Meitei personnel. The Kukis, who were part of the force, had to flee during the violence in May.

On September 16, five individuals were arrested in Konga, Imphal East, under various sections of the IPC, the Arms Act, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, and the Official Secrets Act for misusing official uniforms. They were found in possession of weapons and ammunition. One of them, Moirangthem Anand Singh, had a history with separatist groups and had been arrested multiple times. Following their arrest, there were attempts to storm Porompat police station and a 48-hour bandh was called for their release.

Efforts were made to storm several police stations in different districts, leading to the deployment of teargas in some areas. Manipur’s Additional Secretary (Home) addressed the media, highlighting the threat posed by individuals misusing police uniforms. Full curfew has been re-imposed in Imphal West and Imphal East districts to prevent further disturbances in the law and order situation.

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