Imphal, the Capital of Manipur, Faces Renewed Violence and Arson as Unrest Persists

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The capital city of Manipur, Imphal, experienced a fresh wave of violence and arson on Monday as a group of individuals set several houses ablaze. The unrest follows a violent incident on Sunday night in Imphal West district, where three people were injured by gunshots from unidentified miscreants. Manipur’s Chief Minister, N Biren Singh, confirmed these incidents and emphasized that action has been taken against those responsible. Three individuals, including a former Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), have been apprehended for their alleged involvement in the violence. Singh stated, “On Sunday night, three individuals sustained minor injuries in an incident in Imphal West district. The culprits involved, along with the double-barrel guns used, have been arrested.” He further added, “On Monday, a minor incident occurred in the New Lambulane area of Imphal city. It is unfortunate that an ex-MLA was involved in the conspiracy. Two armed personnel carrying single-barrel guns threatened vendors and instructed them to vacate the area. The ex-MLA, along with these individuals, has been taken into custody.” Singh appealed to the people of Manipur to remain calm and assist in restoring peace and normalcy.

According to officials, Monday’s incident took place in the New Checkon market area of New Lambulane in Imphal East district, where houses belonging to those who had fled the previous month’s violence were set on fire. The arson followed a clash in the main market of New Checkon, a region inhabited by a mix of Kuki, Meitei, and other ethnic groups. In response to the violence, the relaxation of curfew in the capital area has been reduced by two hours, ending now at 2 pm instead of 4 pm. While sporadic incidents of violence have occurred in recent days, the situation in Manipur has remained relatively peaceful overall.

The army and paramilitary forces deployed in the state have promptly responded to such incidents and brought the situation under control. In an effort to maintain peace and prevent the spread of disinformation and false rumors, the Manipur government has extended the restrictions on internet services until May 26. The ongoing ethnic violence, which began on May 3 due to a proposal to grant Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the dominant Meitei community, has resulted in over 70 fatalities and displaced more than 30,000 individuals. The authorities are making concerted efforts to restore stability and resolve the underlying tensions in Manipur.

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