Manipur Police have registered a suo motu FIR against personnel of the Assam Rifles, accusing them of obstructing Bishnupur police personnel during violence that rocked the town of Kwakta on August 6. A video of a heated exchange between the police and AR personnel had earlier come to light.
The FIR, registered by the officer in charge of Phougakchao police station in Bishnupur district, has been filed under sections of obstructing public servant from discharging their duty, threat of injury to public servant, wrongful restraint and criminal intimidation.
In the early hours of August 3, three people from the Meitei communitywere found killed in their houses in Kwakta, soon after which heavy firing began close to the town at the border of Meitei-dominated Bishnupur district and Kuki-Zomi dominated Churachandpur district. The police had said these killings were the handiwork of “suspected Kuki militants.”
In the complaint on the basis of which the FIR had been registered, the officer in charge of Phougakcho stated that around 6:30 am that day, teams of the state police from Bishnupur district were moving towards Pholjang Road along Kwakta ward 8 to conduct search operations “to trace out the accused Kuki militants that might have been taking shelter at the adjoining area between Kwakta and Pholjang village.” Pholjang is a village in Churachandpur district.
The complaint states that on their way, the police teams were “stopped and blocked” by personnel of the 9th Assam Rifles by parking their “Casper vehicle” – referring to armoured vehicles used to transport troops – in the middle of the Kwakta Pholjang Road.
The complaint states that “such arrogant act of the personnel of 9th AR gave a chance to the accused Kuki militants to escape freely to a safe zone”.Also Read | Manipur violence: Kuki People’s Alliance with 2 MLAs withdraws support to Biren govt
A video from that day showed a heated exchange between the two sides, with the police personnel demanding that the AR vehicles be moved and accusing them of collusion.AdvertisementBishnupur: Tyres and articles being burnt by protestors to block a road during a protest against the killing of three persons by militants at Kwakta in Bishnupur district (PTI photo)
A defence source, when contacted, said that the AR vehicles had been placed in a “buffer zone” between Meitei- and Kuki-Zomi-dominated territories, and that Manipur police personnel from neither Bishnupur district nor Churachandpur district would have been permitted to “breach the buffer zone”.Most Read 1 Gadar 2 box office collection day 4: Sunny Deol film records biggest Monday collections of all time, nets a total of Rs 173 cr 2 Bigg Boss OTT 2 Finale Live Updates: Elvish Yadav wins Salman Khan’s show, Abhishek Malhan shares message from hospital 3 Happy Independence Day 2023: Wishes Images, Whatsapp Messages, Status, Quotes, and Photos 4 OMG 2 box office collection day 4: Pankaj Tripathi-Akshay Kumar film delivers better Monday than opening Friday, earns Rs 55.1 cr 5 Jailer box office collection Day 5: Rajinikanth film set to cross Rs 350-crore mark worldwide on Independence Day
In another development in the growing chorus against the Assam Rifles in the Meitei-dominated valley, the Manipur state unit of the BJP submitted a memorandum – signed by 10 Meitei office-bearers – to the Prime Minister demanding the permanent removal of the Assam Rifles from the state “in the interest of the general public”. The BJP unit demanded that they be replaced by “any other paramilitary forces”, accusing the AR of “partisanship” and “supporting one side only”.Don't Miss | Ground report: In Manipur schools, there are challenges beyond the syllabus
In their memorandum, they referred to the incident at Kwakta as a “glaring example”. “They (state force) were stopped by the Assam Rifles on the road… which was leading to the village where the Kuki militants were stationed,” they alleged, adding that “in many cases, the Assam Rifles have acted similarly”.Also ReadNarendra Modi Independence Day Speech Live Updates: India now identified ...Govt SOP for Judges: Do not name officials for court panelsShivaji statue vandalised in Goa, police initiate inquiry‘Will return to Red Fort next year’: In Independence Day speech, PM Modi ...Advertisement
On Monday, the Meira Paibis had held a protest in different parts of the valley demanding the removal of the Assam Rifles as well, and that evening, the the Additional DGP (Law and Order) of Manipur had issued an order, directing that Moirang Lamkhai on the Bishnupur to Kangvai Road – an area where tensions have been high – be manned by civil police and CRPF instead of the 9th Assam Rifles. However, an Assam Rifles officer said that the area concerned had not been under the AR in the first place.© The Indian Express (P) Ltd