Imphal: Assam Rifles and Indian Army which were deployed to mitigate violence in Manipur have successfully rescued as many as 23,000 civilians so far and moved them to the operating bases, a statement from the Indian Army said today, May 7..
As per the statement, there have been no significant acts of violence reported since the rescue effort got underway, which allowed for a relaxation of the curfew in Churachandpur, which is now in effect from 7 am to 10 am today.
"Ray of hope due to efforts of 120-125 Army and Assam Rifles columns who are working tirelessly for past 96 hours to rescue civilians across all communities, curb violence, and restore normalcy has emerged with no major violence being reported and curfew, therefore, being relaxed from 7-10 am today in Churachandpur followed by flag march by Security Forces immediately thereafter," the Army statement said. Total 23000 civilians have been rescued to date and transferred to own operating bases/military garrisons.
Earlier on May 3, the district administration imposed a full curfew in violence-plagued Churachandpur in Manipur due to tension over the effort to safeguard forests in the face of opposition from illegal immigrants as well as the High Court's directive to add Meitei in scheduled tribes.
According to the statement, the Army has greatly increased its surveillance operations over the past 24 hours through aerial surveillance, the movement of UAVs, and the repositioning of Army helicopters within Imphal Valley.
On May 3 and 4, the Manipur government requisitioned the army and the Assam Rifles. State's Director General of Police P Doungel said, after security forces' intervention, the situation in the State has improved. He said, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) head Kuldiep Singh has been appointed as the security advisor, and forces from the RAF, BSF, and CRPF have all been sent in Manipur.
Ashutosh Sinha, Additional Director-General of Police (Intelligence), has also been named by the State government as the overall operational commander to manage the situation in Manipur, according to the State DGP.
In a statement released earlier on Friday, the Army claimed that everyone involved in the crisis took concerted action to bring the situation in Manipur under control. "All parties involved worked together to take synchronised action and get the situation under control. The Indian Army said that the IAF continuously flew sorties from two airfields in Assam using C17 Globemaster and AN 32 aircraft.
In a few regions of the northeastern State, violence had broken out immediately following intercommunity conflicts during protests against the dominant Meitei community's inclusion in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category.