Violence Continues In Manipur, Mobs Vandalise Police Armoury, Fire On Forces

GUWAHATI:  Automatic weapons were fired from Kwakta in Bishnupur district and Kangvai in Churachandpur district of conflict-torn Manipur last night, and intermittent bursts of firing were being reported till early this morning, police and army sources have said. An empty house was also set on fire in Langol by miscreants today.

Multiple incidents of mob build-up and attempted vandalism and arson have also been reported. The joint forces of the Army, Assam Rifles, Rapid Action Force and state police undertook a Flag March in Imphal East district till midnight.

An arson attempt was reported at the Palace Compound near Advance Hospital. A mob of about 1,000 congregated last evening and attempted arson and vandalism. The RAF fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the mob, in which two civilians were injured.

Mob build up near Manipur University was also reported. 200 to 300 people gathered near Thongju at 10.40 pm and attempted to vandalise the residence of the local MLA. A column of the RAF dispersed the crowd.

Another mob last night also attempted to vandalise the armoury of Iringbam Police Station in the Imphal West district. 300 to 400 people tried to ransack the police station at 11.40pm. The crowd was dispersed by the RAF.

According to Army sources, a mob of 200 to 300 people surrounded the BJP office a little after midnight at Sinjemai, and an Army column dispersed the crowd.

The mob also attempted vandalism at the residence of state BJP president Adhikarimayum Sharda Devi in Imphal West at midnight, but it was prevented by the Army and RAF. The crowd was dispersed, according to Army sources.

The attacks in Manipur come a day after the home of the Union Minister RK Ranjan Singh was burnt down by a mob of 1200 which lobbed petrol bombs.

The violence between two communities in Manipur has taken a turn for the worse over the last few days, with the property of political leaders being targeted. The centre is trying hard to implement a peace plan, though the law and order situation presently remains extremely volatile.