Chief minister N Biren Singh said that three individuals, including a former state legislator, have been arrested with weapons for their alleged involvement in the state’s disturbance.
By: Shubham Ghosh
Tension continued in the north-eastern Indian state of Manipur where violence erupted earlier this month and more than 70 lives have reportedly been lost. On Monday (22), chief minister N Biren Singh said that three individuals, including a former state legislator, have been arrested with weapons for their alleged involvement in the disturbance in the state which borders India’s eastern neighbour of Myanmar.
The chief minister also said that the three men threatened shopkeepers in New Checkon area of state capital Imphal to shut their shops. He added that the situation was under control after the arrests and three shotguns were recovered. The three arrested were handed over to the state police, NDTV reported.
Some local people from the state’s Kuki community denied that the men went with weapons or threatened the traders. Social media posts from some Kukis claimed that the men went to speak with the shopkeepers to consider the tension prevailing in the tribal neighbourhood and advised them to temporarily leave the market for their own safety.
According to the NDTV report, after rumours spread that some Kuki insurgents threatened shopkeepers, members of the Meitei community came in the New Lambulane area where some abandoned houses were set ablaze, leading to a fresh flare-up.
On May 3, a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ organised to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for inclusion in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list fuelled ethnic violence. The state’s Christian Kuki and Naga communities have opposed its Bharatiya Janata Party government’s decision to grant ST status to the Hindu Meiteis, who form the majority community in the state.