Manipur, Army, women activists, blocking routes,
The army statement came two days after a stand-off in Imphal East's Itham village between the Army and a mob led by women that forced the forces to let go of 12 militants holed up there. (Photo: ANI Digital / Twitter)

‘Help us to Help Manipur’: Army tweets 2 days after stand-off with women-led mob

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Women activists were deliberately blocking routes and interfering in operations by security forces in violence-hit Manipur, the Army said, urging people to help it in restoring peace in the Northeastern state.

Terming such “unwarranted interference” detrimental to the timely response by security forces, the Army’s Spears Corps shared a video on Twitter late on Monday (June 26) of some such incidents.

The statement came two days after a stand-off in Imphal East’s Itham village between the Army and a mob led by women that forced the forces to let go of 12 militants holed up there.

Also read: Women-led mob forces Army to leave Manipur village without 12 militants

“Women activists in #Manipur are deliberately blocking routes and interfering in Operations of Security Forces. Such unwarranted interference is detrimental to the timely response by Security Forces during critical situations to save lives and property. Indian Army appeals to all sections of population to support our endeavours in restoring peace. Help us to Help Manipur,” it tweeted.

The stand-off in Itham went on throughout Saturday (June 24), and ended after a “mature decision” by the operational commander keeping in view the sensitivity of use of force against a large irate mob led by women and likely casualties due to such action, officials said.

Twelve members of the Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL), a Meitei militant group, involved in a number of attacks, including the ambush of a 6 Dogra unit in 2015, were holed up in the village, they said.

The security personnel left with seized arms and ammunition.

More than 100 people have lost their lives in the ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki communities in the northeastern state ever since clashes broke out on May 3. Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Nagas and Kukis constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.

Meitei sit-in protest in Pune seeks immediate end to violence

On Monday (June 26), members of the Meitei community held a sit-in protest in Pune in Maharashtra, seeking an immediate end to the violence in their native Manipur. The sit-in protest against narco-terrorists and illegal immigrants was held near the Collector’s office and was organised by Meitei Nupi Lup, Pune.

In a release, the protest organisers said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was silent even after 50 days of violence that has seen more than 100 deaths and displacement of 60,000 people. Reports of heavy firing was coming in every day, resulting in people living in a war-like situation with multiple security forces, mob build-up, and clashes, it added.

Also read: First thing PM Modi should do is sack Manipur CM: Cong chief Mallikarjun Kharge

Seeking immediate action from the governments at the Centre and in Manipur, the protesters observed a minute of silence to pay tribute to victims of the violence.

“The violence in Manipur has been going on for more than fifty days. Educational institutions remain closed. The internet has been shut down for nearly two months. The price of essential commodities and emergency items has increased,” a protester said.

“What is the intention of the government? The government should intervene to restore peace. Why is the government silent? Are we not citizens of India? Manipur is a small state but has represented India in many international sports, art, and culture. Please do not neglect us, save precious lives and homes,” a protester said.

The Meitei Nupi Lup, Pune submitted a memorandum to the Pune collector addressed to the Prime Minister seeking peace in the northeastern state.

Also read: Manipur unrest’s shift from periphery to Imphal valley worrying Amit Shah: CM

Several protesters held placards with messages such as “Hello Modiji, where are you?, “please save Manipur”, “we Want Peace in Manipur”, as well as those with demands like stopping the “hill valley divide” and halting deforestation in the state.

The release said members of Meisnam family displaced from Churachandpur shared their story of how their houses were destroyed.

(With agency inputs)

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