MORE TROOPS DEPLOYED; AMIT SHAH CLOSELY MONITORING SITUATION
After the Centre on Thursday took control of the entire security apparatus in Manipur, an uneasy calm prevailed in the State on Friday as no fresh violence was reported amid heavy presence of security forces. However, gunfights were reported between security forces and some militants in various parts of the state.
The Army on Friday said that the situation in Manipur has been brought under control through coordinated actions by all stakeholders.
PRO (Defence) Lt Col M Rawat said, the IAF undertook continuous sorties from two airfields in Assam engaging C17 Globemaster and AN 32 aircrafts to ferry troops. PRO said that domination and evacuation of civilians of all communities from affected areas continued throughout the night and flag march in Churachandpur and other sensitive areas were underway.
While the Manipur government has not yet made any official announcement on the death toll caused by two days of arson and mob violence since May 3 night in different parts of the state, some local news reports, based on eyewitness and victim family accounts and also hospital morgue records, put the death toll at 31.
DGP Manipur P Doungel said that Central security forces have been deployed across sensitive areas while Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been stationed at highly sensitive areas.
Addressing the media, Doungel said that eight more Indian Air Force planes carrying security personnel– RAF, CRPF and BSF– were expected to arrive Imphal. “They will act very differently from the state police and security forces while dealing with the violent mobs,” he said. DGP said that nearly 20,000 people residing in vulnerable areas have been evacuated at safer places, most of them being lodged at the campuses of security establishments at various locations.
Shah speaks to CMs of 3 States: Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is closely monitoring the situation, held telephonic conversation with Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio, Mizoram CM Zoramthanga of Mizoram and Himanta Biswa Sarma of Assam, sources said. During the day, Shah had two video conferencing meetings attended by Manipur chief minister, chief secretary, DGP, union home secretary and other top officials of the central government.
Return stolen arms: DGP Doungel has made a fervent appeal to those responsible for looting arms and ammunition from various police posts, to return them at the earliest. The arms and ammunition were stolen by a mob after they overpowered around eight police posts during May 3 violence in Imphal.
“Surrender the arms or we will be compelled to take action. Those who surrender will be spared,” Doungel said, adding that stringent action will be initiated against those who fail to surrender the arms. He also hinted at handing over the case to the NIA.
Additional SP (Ops) M Amit said that around seven arms including ammunitions were recovered during an operation at Chingmeirong, Sanjembam and Takhel in Imphal East district.
Further, DGP refuted reports about rape incidents in Churachandpur and termed it as rumours. There have been no such cases in any part of the state, he asserted. He also informed that BJP legislator Vungzagin Valte, who was attacked by mob on Thursday, was undergoing treatment and was “out of danger”.
Meanwhile, additional DGs- L Kailun and Ashutosh Sinha (appointed as operational commander to bring normalcy in the state) also attended the news conference.