Manipur: 5 cops suspended over parading; probe started into armoury looting
Acting promptly after the video showing two Kuki women being stripped and paraded naked by a mob surfaced on social media, Manipur Police suspended five police personnel, including the station in-charge of Nongpok Sekmai Police Station in Thoubal district, officials said on Sunday (Aug 6).
The officials in Imphal said that immediately after the video of the incident surfaced on July 19, Manipur Police decided to suspend the station in-charge of Nongpok Sekmai Police Station in Thoubal district and four other police personnel. The action was taken promptly and has not been reversed despite daily protests by some sections of people from the majority community for their reinstatement, they said.
The state police have also ordered a time-bound inquiry under an Inspector General (IG) of Police to probe events leading to the looting of an armoury on August 3 in Bishnupur, they said.
Talking to PTI, the officials in the know of developments said every effort was being made by Manipur Police to end the cycle of violence between the majority Meitei and the tribal Kuki community which began on May 3. They said the police have been working relentlessly to ensure that the breakdown in law and order was addressed on an urgent basis.
“Now, for example, with the help of other agencies including the Army and Assam Rifles, we have managed to keep the essential supplies in surplus quantity. This is the season of farming and we can’t wait for complete peace to return. So we have to manage it and that means an additional diversion of police force to the foothills where farming is done for the famous black rice,” said one of the officials.
Around 300 people have been arrested so far in various cases. Many FIRs were registered during the ethnic clashes and every claim has to be cross-checked, they said.
The officials said a time-bound inquiry has been instituted in connection with the recent looting of arms and around 19,000 bullets from the headquarters of the 2nd India Reserve Battalion (IRB) located at Naranseina in Bishnupur district. An officer of IG rank is heading the inquiry which will be completed within six weeks, the officials said.
A crowd had gathered there on August 3 to march towards Churachandpur where the tribals were planning to carry out a mass burial of their people killed in ethnic clashes that broke out in the state on May 3, they said. Highlighting the “proactive” approach of Manipur Police, the officials said that as many as 30 people were arrested after an attack on an IG-rank officer outside the airport last month.
Nine people, including five Meira Paibis (women torch-bearers), were arrested in connection with the brutal killing of a Naga Maring woman on July 15. “In Manipur, a day without an incident is called an absence of violence and is not perceived as a thing that has become normal. It is a long way to go before things can be normal,” an official said.
More than 160 people have lost their lives and several hundred injured since the ethnic clashes broke out in Manipur on May 3, after a Tribal Solidarity March was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Nagas and Kukis constitute little over 40 per cent and reside in the hill districts.
(With agency inputs)