Assam Rifles Manipur
Several groups of women in the valley districts launched a demonstration on Monday, demanding the removal of the paramilitary force | File photo for representation only

Assam Rifles faces the heat in Manipur; fabricated attempts to malign image: Army

Amid allegations of brutality against Assam Rifles in strife-torn Manipur, the Indian Army on Tuesday (August 8) said that it, along with the central paramilitary force, will continue to remain firm and resolute in carrying out actions to prevent any attempt that could result in furthering violence in the state.

The Manipur government replaced security personnel of Assam Rifles stationed at Moirang Lamkhai checkpoint in Bishnupur district with those from CRPF and state police after hundreds of women staged protests, accusing Assam Rifles of using brute force against civilians during the recent protests.

Also read: Manipur: Assam Rifles withdrawn from Bishnupur checkpoint after women’s stir

In another case against the paramilitary force, the CBI has filed an FIR in connection with an alleged recruitment scam in Assam Rifles in Assam’s Jorhat.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the Army’s Spear Corps said there have been fabricated attempts to malign the image of the Assam Rifles, which has been engaged in restoring peace in ethnic violence-hit Manipur.

“Some inimical elements have made desperate, repeated, and failed attempts to question the role, intent, and integrity of the central security forces, especially Assam Rifles, working relentlessly towards saving lives and restoration of peace in Manipur from May 3 onwards,” the statement said.

The army said it needs to be understood that due to the complex nature of the situation on the ground in Manipur, occasional differences at the tactical level do occur between various security forces.

However, all such misunderstandings at the functional level are immediately addressed through the joint mechanism to synergise the efforts for the restoration of peace and normalcy in Manipur, the statement said.

The army said two instances have emerged over the last 24 hours aimed at maligning the image of Assam Rifles.

Also read: Manipur: Amid ethnic strife, Assam Rifles faces battle of sorts

In the first case, the army said, the Assam Rifles battalion has acted strictly in accordance with the mandate of the Unified Headquarters of strict enforcement of buffer zone guidelines towards the aim of preventing violence between the two communities.

In the second case, it said, the Assam Rifles being moved out of an area is not even related to them.

“An infantry battalion of the army is deployed in the area, since the crisis erupted in May, from where the narrative of Assam Rifles being moved out has been made,” it said.

“Indian Army and Assam Rifles assure the people of Manipur that we will continue to remain firm and resolute in our actions to prevent any attempt that could result in furthering violence in an already volatile atmosphere,” the statement said.

Also read: Manipur: Meitei women protest against Assam Rifles, accusing them of ‘brutality’

Manipur Police have registered an FIR accusing the Assam Rifles of blocking their vehicle after an altercation between the two groups last week.

(With inputs from agencies)

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