The prompt response of the Army and Assam Rifles averted large-scale violence in Manipur, said Defence sources on Thursday
According to the sources, Army and Assam Rifles became the first responders to the request by the state government in maintaining law and order. Despite being deployed outside the municipal limits of Imphal town due to the non-applicability of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), multiple columns fanned out in the city responding to hundreds of distress calls at the same time, the sources said.
“Troops reassuring the beleaguered families are already viral on the media. Without making any distinction between the communities, all beleaguered families were evacuated to the safety of the Army and Assam Rifle camps. Some of them are still staying there as the process to send them back is underway”, the sources added.
As per the inputs from the sources, similar scenes were also noticed in faraway places in Churachandpur, Moreh and Kangpokpi. “Army and Assam Rifles accommodated people within their garrisons at Mantripukhri, Keithelmanbi, Pallel, Moreh, Leimakhong, Khuga and Veng to name a few amongst many places where ad hoc arrangements were made”, the sources said.
Further, the sources added, “On the first night itself, within Imphal, approximately 2300 civilians were evacuated from violence-hit areas of Langol, Lamphel and Mantripukhri with another around 1700 in Tegnoupal district in Churachandpur, on the first night alone 4600 locals were safely rescued from Khumujamba, Hmar Veng, Saikot and Mantop Leikai.”
Proactive deployment facilitated faster reaction in de-notified areas of Imphal as also in villages of Churachandpur district where Assam Rifles do not have any Company Operating Base in the vicinity, as informed by the Defence sources.
The violence in Manipur had erupted in the immediate aftermath of inter-community clashes in a few districts of the northeastern State amid protests against the inclusion of the majority Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category. (ANI)