Four Suspected UNLF Militants Held In Violence-Hit Manipur

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The United National Liberation Front (UNLF), a proscribed militant outfit in Manipur, India, had four suspected cadres arrested in Thoubal district. The Army, acting on intelligence inputs, established a Mobile Vehicle Check Post near Police Station Lilong on June 19 and apprehended the four cadres in two separate vehicles. During the operation, a 51 mm mortar, an anti-personnel bomb, was recovered from them. The suspects were handed over to the police and have been charged under Section 34 IPC and 25(1-C) Arms Act for unauthorized possession of arms.

The UNLF is one of the oldest insurgent groups in Manipur. The recent violence in Manipur has resulted in over 100 casualties, with clashes between the Meitei and Kuki communities. The violence began on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organized in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. Meiteis constitute about 53% of Manipur’s population and primarily reside in the Imphal Valley, while Nagas and Kukis, the tribal communities, make up around 40% of the population and reside in the hill districts.

In response to the riots and to provide support to those affected, the Assam Rifles, a paramilitary force, distributed essential items to over 1,000 displaced people sheltered in relief camps, such as Dawn School and Churachandpur Govt College. The force provided water and essential items to the affected individuals who were forced to seek shelter in relief camps due to the ethnic strife. The civilians expressed gratitude to the Assam Rifles for their assistance. Earlier, the force had also distributed relief materials to affected civilians sheltered in Govt Dance College in Imphal West district. The relief materials included food items, medical kits, clothing, sanitary pads, toiletries, diapers, and other commodities.

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