Manipur Police appeal for cooperation from protesting students, say ‘minimal force’ used to control situation

Imphal: Kuki Inpi Manipur rebuts “logically unsound” accusation that youths were kidnapped and killed by its community members

BY | Friday, 29 September, 2023

Manipur Police has made an appeal to protesting students to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in maintaining peace and bringing normalcy back early. In a post on X (Twitter), the state police stated that the joint security forces were “making all efforts for expeditious investigation into all the cases” and cautioned “miscreants” taking advantage of the situation with stern action.

The law-and-order situation in Manipur took another hit when photos of two missing Meitei youths surfaced on social media after the government lifted internet ban in the State after 144 days on 23rd September 2023. Students took to the streets on 26th September seeking justice for their fellow students which turned ugly after they reportedly attempted to break through the security barricades set up by the security forces resulting in injuries to several individuals.

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Manipur Police in another post asserted, “Security Forces Employ Minimum Force to Control Protesters: Miscreants in crowd used iron pieces and stones (marbles) against security forces. In retaliation security forces used minimum force to disperse the congregation and fired some tear gas shells in which some people got injured.”

This statement by the police has further infuriated public who questioned the forces’ choice of method to control the students.

The police also said that at meeting of senior officers of CAPF at PHQ, Imphal on Thursday, the officers were apprised of the unfortunate injuries of students as well as security personnel and that the forces “discussed to use minimum force in dealing with the public especially students”.

Meanwhile, Kuki Inpi Manipur on Thursday rebutted the “logically unsound” allegations that the two youths were kidnapped and killed by its community members.

“Further, the accusation that the two students were allegedly kidnapped by armed Kukis is, especially at a time when the state is clearly divided into ethnic lines prohibiting inter-regional travel between the meiteis and the Kuki-Zo people. To that matter, the intention of the two students to travel into Kuki-Zo dominated areas, if true, at a time when ethnic sentiments of hatred, prejudice, and enmity are extremely high is altogether disquieting.”

“The Kuki Inpi Manipur would like to make it clear that the Kuki-Zo people do not condone any degree or manner of violence,” it also said.

In another incident on Thursday evening, there were reports of mob attacking Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s personal residence in Imphal which the police refuted as “false and misleading”, adding that “Adequate security” was already in place.

In another story, the Government of India on 27th September prematurely repatriated senior IPS officer Rakesh Balwal to Manipur. The AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory) cadre officer had been in Jammu and Kashmir since 2021 serving as the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Srinagar.

The Print had reported that Balwal, a 2012 batch officer, had headed the National Investigation Agency team that had probed the 2019 Pulwama attack. “He was brought to Srinagar when the law and order situation had deteriorated in the district and there were targeted killings of non-local residents,” The Print stated a Srinagar based-officer remarking, “He started operating with teams to identify vulnerable populations and his work yielded positive results with no targeted killings [in Srinagar] since he took over in December 2021.”

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