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Violence Spirals as Mobs, Gov’t Forces Clash in India’s Manipur

Fresh bouts of violence hit India’s northeastern state of Manipur as mobs clashed with government forces, multiple local media reports said Saturday.

Clashes broke out Friday night as mobs tried to resort to vandalism and arson by targeting houses belonging to leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

A failed attempt to loot weapons from the Iringbam police station in Imphal West was also made. The mobs tried to vandalise the armoury of the police station during the night but were dispersed by the government forces.

Likewise, the mobs were dispersed after they tried to target the BJP office in Imphal East and the residence of Manipur BJP president Adhikarimayum Sharda Devi in Imphal West.

Reports said two civilians were injured in the clashes at the Palace Compound in Imphal.

To contain the situation, contingents of government forces staged a flag march in the Imphal East district until midnight.

The northeastern state has been on edge since May 3 when large-scale violence broke out in the state during a tribal protest over the inclusion of the non-tribal Meiteis community for a scheduled tribe status.

The ethnic clashes claimed over 100 lives and displaced over 40,000. Nearly 300 people were injured and close to 1,700 houses burnt down during the violence in the state.

Authorities responded by imposing a curfew and putting a blanket ban on internet services as a precautionary measure to restrict the mobilization of crowds in the state.