Manipur Police has registered an FIR against the Assam Rifles following an altercation between the two groups last week. According to reports, the State police also accused the paramilitary force of blocking their vehicles. However, security sources termed the FIR as a “travesty of justice” and stated that the Assam Rifles were tasked by the command headquarters with safeguarding the sanctity of the buffer zones between the Kuki and Meitiei districts.
What did Manipur Police allege?
The FIR was filed on August 5 when police alleged that the Assam Rifles obstructed their vehicles on the Kwakta Gothol road in the Bishnupur district. The FIR claimed the Assam Rifles stopped its personnel from proceeding when “the state police was proceeding Pholjang Road along Kwakta as follow up action to conduct search operations in an arms act case in search of Kuki militants.”
The police claimed that its personnel was stopped by 9 Assam Rifles which parked their ‘Casper’ vehicle blocking the road. Defence sources reacted stating “Assam Rifles was undertaking a task given by the command headquarters of ensuring the sanctity of the buffer zones between Kuki and Meitiei areas.
Assam Rifles personnel withdrawn from checkpoint
Earlier on Monday, August 7, the Manipur government ordered to withdraw Assam Rifles personnel from a key at a vital checkpoint in Moirang Lamkhai of Bishnupur district. The development comes after hundreds of women activists held marches against the central paramilitary force alleging brutality towards civilians in the valley districts. The order was issued by the Additional Director General of Police (law and order). The state police and CRPF units would replace the 9 Assam Rifles with immediate effect at the checkpoint along Bishnupur-Kangvai Road.
It should be mentioned here that more than 160 people have been killed and several hundred injured since ethnic violence first broke out in the state on May 3. The incident occurred when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status.