Army deployed, internet suspended in Manipur after tribal protests turn violent

Violence reported in Manipur after protests by tribals turn violent. [Photo: Twitter]

Manipur: Army and paramilitary forces were deployed in Manipur after tribal protests turn violent in several parts of the state.

Internet services were also suspended across the state for the next five days and prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in several districts were imposed.

Curfew was imposed in eight districts of Manipur and mobile internet services were suspended in the entire northeastern state over violence during a tribal agitation on Wednesday, officials said.

The district administration has imposed section 144 in the state’s capital Imphal with immediate effect.

The All Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM), which called for the march, said it was organised to express dissent to the “persistent demands of the Meitei community for its inclusion in the ST category” gaining momentum.

The Meiteis, who make up 53% of the state’s population, inhabit the Manipur valley and claim that they are facing difficulty in view of “large scale illegal immigration by Myanmarese and Bangladeshis”.

Meiteies are not allowed to settle in the hill areas as per the existing law.

Earlier on April 19, the Manipur High Court asked the Bharatiya Janata Party government to consider petitions for including the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe list “expeditiously, preferably within a period of four weeks”.

In a statement on Thursday, the Army said that around 7,500 people were rescued by the forces from the violence-hit areas of Churachandpur, Kangpokpi and Imphal districts.

“The columns of Army and Assam Rifles along with Manipur police have intervened promptly to control the situation,” it said. “Violence was controlled by morning hours. Flag marches are being conducted to keep the situation under control.”

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