Manipur: Curfew imposed in Tengnoupal district after attack on security forces - Hindustan Times
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Manipur: Curfew imposed in Tengnoupal district after attack on security forces

Jan 16, 2024 07:49 PM IST

The move comes just two days after the district administration had relaxed curfew hours to facilitate the general public to purchase essential items including medicines and food items

GUWAHATI: A total curfew has been imposed in Tengnoupal district of strife-torn Manipur from Tuesday following an attack on security forces and arrest of two persons believed to be involved in killing a police officer last year.

Tengnoupal, which is dominated by people from the Kuki tribe, and the district headquartes of Moreh, which is close to the Myanmar border, has been witnessing sporadic incidents of violence for over two weeks now. (Representative Image)
Tengnoupal, which is dominated by people from the Kuki tribe, and the district headquartes of Moreh, which is close to the Myanmar border, has been witnessing sporadic incidents of violence for over two weeks now. (Representative Image)

The move comes just two days after the district administration had relaxed curfew hours “to facilitate the general public to purchase essential items including medicines and food items”.

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Tengnoupal, which is dominated by people from the Kuki tribe, and the district headquartes of Moreh, which is close to the Myanmar border, has been witnessing sporadic incidents of violence for over two weeks now with several instances of attacks on security forces by armed miscreants.

“There are inputs that there is likelihood of breach of peace, disturbance of public tranquility and grave danger to human lives and property within the revenue jurisdiction of Tengnoupal district,” said the curfew order issued by district magistrate Krishna Kumar, which HT has seen.

It mentioned there would be total curfew in the entire district from 12am of January 16 but government agencies involved in maintenance of law and order and essential services will be kept outside its purview.

On Monday, two persons stated to be among the main suspects behind the assassination of a Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) were arrested from Moreh, located about 110km south of Imphal.

The arrest of the duo identified as Philip Khikholal Khongsai of New Moreh Ward number 8 and Hemkholal mate of K Moulsang village were made during an operation after two suspected individuals who opened fire on vehicles of security personnel during a patrolling near Moreh College around 4.30pm on Monday, police said.

“On being fired upon, the security forces immediately retaliated and cordoned off the suspected houses near Moreh College,” said the police control room in a press note late Monday night. “During the operation, the two suspicious individuals were chased and overpowered using minimum forces and were detained for verification.”

One pistol along with 2 live rounds, one Chinese hand grenade,10 live rounds of AK ammunition and 10 detonators with fuse were recovered from the arrested persons, the press note said.

“The arrested persons are among the main suspects behind the assassination of late Ch Anand, MPS, SDPO Moreh. A case has been registered in this regard for investigation,” the note added.

Chingtham Anand, a resident of Imphal West district was killed after he was shot by suspected armed miscreants while the police officer was inspecting a newly constructed helipad at Moreh on October 31.

Two prominent Kuki groups, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF) and Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU), have condemned the arrests of two Kuki persons by Manipur Police from Moreh on Monday and stated that attempts to link them to the death of a police officer was a “blatant lie”.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the two groups stated that the arrested duo were with a group of women who were protesting against a proposed commando outpost at Chikim village in Moreh when policemen suddenly fired live rounds at unarmed protesters injuring two women and detaining the two men.

The statement said that there was a “vicious campaign to vilify them by claiming that weapons were found in their possession and that they were among the suspects in the killing of the Moreh, SDPO, last year”.

Manipur has been roiled by ethnic clashes between the Meitei and the tribal Kuki-Zo communities since May last year. The violence has claimed at least 200 lives and displaced around 50,000 people.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Utpal is a Senior Assistant Editor based in Guwahati. He covers seven states of North-East India and heads the editorial team for the region. He was previously based in Kathmandu, Dehradun and Delhi with Hindustan Times.

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