Violence erupted in Manipur on June 16 after a mob of 1,000 people attempted to set fire to the Palace Compound area in Imphal. The mob was dispersed by the Rapid Action Force (RAF), which fired rubber bullets and tear gas.
Another mob of around 300 people tried to vandalize the house of Minister Thongam Biswajit in Thongju, but they were also dispersed by the RAF.
Manipur on the boil: Clashes between mobs and security forces leave two injured
There were multiple other incidents of attempted violence reported across Imphal on Friday night. Mobs gathered in an attempt to vandalise the house of State BJP president A. Sharda Devi near Porompat, and an Army column dispersed another mob that had gheraoed the BJP office at Singjamei.
In separate incidents, automatic gunfire was reported from Kwakta in Bishnupur district and Kangvai in Churachandpur district through the night.
An attempt was also made to loot weapons from Iringbam police station in Imphal West, but no weapons were stolen.
Earlier in the day, crowds set up roadblocks and torched properties in the heart of Imphal town. A house belonging to Union Minister R.K. Ranjan Singh was attacked and attempts were made to burn it down, but security guards and firefighters managed to control the arson attempt.
A warehouse near the royal palace belonging to a retired tribal IAS officer was burnt down completely on Friday.
The State government has imposed a curfew on 11 districts and banned internet services in a bid to stop the spread of rumours in the State.
The violence in Manipur is the latest in a series of clashes between the Meitei community and the tribal communities in the state. The Meitei community, which makes up about 53% of the state’s population, is demanding Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, which would give them more government benefits. The tribal communities, who make up about 40% of the population, oppose the ST status for the Meiteis, arguing that it would take away their own benefits.
The clashes have been going on for months, and have resulted in the deaths of several people. The violence has also led to the displacement of thousands of people.
The State government has been struggling to contain the violence, and has imposed curfews and banned internet services in an attempt to stop the spread of rumours. However, the violence has continued, and there is no sign of it abating anytime soon.
The violence in Manipur is a serious threat to the peace and stability of the state. It is also a reminder of the deep divisions that exist between the Meitei and tribal communities in the state. These divisions need to be addressed if the violence is to be stopped.
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