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Imphal, September 21 – The arrest and subsequent release of five individuals in Manipur, along with the seizure of illegally obtained arms and ammunition, have ignited protests and fresh violence in the region. The events unfolded on September 16, 2023, at Kongba near Meitei Mayek School in Imphal.
Local news channel ELITE TV initially reported the arrested individuals as village defenders, while the police filed FIRs against each of them, citing illegal arms possession.
Protests and Demands for Release
Following the arrests, various Meitei organizations, led by Meitei Meira Paibis, took to the streets to demand the unconditional release of the detained individuals. The protesters claimed that all five persons were community-loving sons and were innocent of any wrongdoing. Their arrest prompted widespread outrage and calls for their immediate release.
In response to the mounting pressure from the protesters, the police decided to release four of the arrested individuals. The individuals released on Personal Recognizance (PR) bond are Athokpam Kajit, son of Dhananjoy, from Kongba N Leikai; Lourkrakpam Michael Mangangcha, son of L. Iboton, from Khurai Ahongei; Konthoujam Romojit Meitei, son of K. Meghajit, from Sagolband Sayang; and Keisham Johnson, son of (Late) K. Ibomcha, from Singjamei.
However, one of the individuals, Moirangthem Anand Singh, son of (Late) Achou Singh from Singjamei Leikai, was rearrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and subsequently taken to Guwahati for further investigation.
Fresh Violence Erupts
The re-arrest of Moirangthem Anand Singh led to fresh violence in the region, with Meitei protesters, led by Meira Paibis, taking to the streets once again. Demonstrators set tires on fire at Keishampat, exacerbating the tense situation in Imphal.
CM N. Biren Singh to Address Media
In response to the escalating situation, Meitei Chief Minister N. Biren Singh is scheduled to address the media at the CM’s Secretariat on September 23, 2023, at 9:30 am. It is anticipated that the Chief Minister will provide insights into the recent events and outline the government’s stance on the matter.
Furthermore, valley-based Meitei media outlets have been requested to cover the upcoming media briefing, as it is expected to shed light on the evolving situation and government actions in response to the protests and violence in Manipur. The address by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh may serve as a pivotal moment in efforts to restore calm and address the concerns of the Meitei community in the region.