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Imphal/New Delhi: Tensions escalated in Manipur as a mob made an attempt to attack the ancestral house of Chief Minister N Biren Singh on the outskirts of Imphal tonight. The incident unfolded despite heightened security measures in the region. Security forces, resorting to firing in the air, successfully pushed back the mob.
The Manipur Police quickly took to social media, specifically X (formerly Twitter), to dispel rumors about the Chief Minister’s personal residence, clarifying that reports of his house being mobbed were “false and misleading.”
It’s important to note that Chief Minister Biren Singh resides in a separate, heavily guarded official residence located in the heart of Imphal.
A police officer shared further details, stating, “There was an attempt to attack the Chief Minister’s ancestral house at Heingang locality in Imphal. Security forces stopped the mob around 100-150 meters away from the house.”
Although the ancestral house remains vacant, it is continually guarded to prevent any untoward incidents, the officer affirmed.
He elaborated on the events, saying, “Two groups of people came from different directions and approached the Chief Minister’s ancestral house, but they were stopped.”
In response to the mob’s actions, security forces employed tear gas shells to disperse the crowd, a tactic bolstered by the presence of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and state police personnel. The authorities also took measures to reduce visibility in the area by cutting off electricity and reinforcing barricades near the residence.
Protesters demonstrated their frustration by setting tires ablaze on a nearby road. Although ambulances were spotted, there have been no reports of injuries so far.
This incident unfolded on the heels of protests by students concerning the tragic deaths of two teenagers, allegedly at the hands of insurgents.
On Wednesday morning, numerous students began marching through Imphal city, vociferously expressing their discontent with what they perceive as the Manipur government’s inexplicable delay in restoring normalcy in the state and apprehending the perpetrators behind the murders of the two students. Photographs depicting the lifeless bodies of the victims strewn across a hill had previously circulated, further inflaming public sentiments.
Many of the students, who faced clashes with the Manipur Police and the central paramilitary Rapid Action Force (RAF), reported being subjected to lathis (batons), rubber bullets, and tear gas.
The police have rejected the students’ allegations, asserting that the students had attacked them with sharp projectiles. They further argued that any delay in taking action against the mob would have likely resulted in increased violence. Police sources released photographs of metal objects they claimed were thrown at them by the students.
Rajkumar Imo Singh, a BJP MLA, used X to announce that the state government had formed a committee to investigate the alleged excessive use of force by security forces against students.
“Due to excess use of force by the armed forces in the last few days, the state government has initiated a committee led by IGP Administration Manipur to take action against any personnel involved in any excesses. Strict action should be taken against any of these officials involved to prevent such acts from recurring,” the MLA, who is also the son-in-law of the Chief Minister, stated in a post on X.
Additionally, a mob reportedly vandalized the deputy commissioner’s office in Imphal West district and set two vehicles ablaze this morning.
The state of Manipur has been grappling with unrest since May 3, when ethnic violence erupted between the hill-majority Kukis and valley-majority Meiteis over the Meiteis’ demand for Scheduled Tribes (ST) status. The situation remains highly volatile as authorities attempt to restore peace and address the concerns of various communities within the state.