Manipur Police commandos stage ‘arms down’ protest after abduction of officer | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Manipur Police commandos stage ‘arms down’ protest after abduction of officer

Feb 28, 2024 02:40 PM IST

In a statement, the Manipur Police said over 200 militants stormed the officer’s residence and abducted him on Tuesday

A section of Manipur Police commandos staged a symbolic “arms down” protest in Imphal on Wednesday a day after a top police officer was abducted from outside his house in retaliation for an attempt to detain militants in ethnic violence-hit state. The officer was rescued after a two-hour-long operation.

Ethnic violence in Manipur has since May last year left over 200 people dead. (HT PHOTO/Representative)
Ethnic violence in Manipur has since May last year left over 200 people dead. (HT PHOTO/Representative)

Videos from Imphal purportedly showed dozens of commandos laying down their weapons at a compound of their unit. “...they are unhappy with the state government for not giving them a free hand to tackle armed miscreants,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

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Police and administrative officials did not respond to calls seeking details of the protest even as no arrests were made until Wednesday morning in connection with additional police superintendent (operations) M Amit Singh’s abduction.

In a statement, the Manipur Police said over 200 militants stormed Singh’s residence, vandalised it, and fired gunshots before abducting him and his guards hours before they were rescued on Tuesday.

The police statement did not name the group behind the abduction but people aware of the matter pointed to radical Meitei outfit Arambai Tenggol’s involvement. It did not also mention why the officer was abducted.

A person aware of the matter, who asked not to be named, said the officer was abducted after some members of the Arambai Tenggol were detained earlier in the day for brandishing weapons and stealing vehicles.

Kuki groups have blamed Arambai Tenggol for orchestrating violence against tribals in Manipur since ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3 last year.

Arambai Tenggol members have been accused of murder, attacks on security forces, extortion, arson, etc. Kuki groups have said the group has the support of the politicians.

Arambai Tenggol last month called 38 lawmakers and other Meitei politicians to take an oath to protect “Manipur’s integrity”. At least three legislators were assaulted for not supporting the state government. To be sure, no legislator has filed a complaint.

Ethnic violence in Manipur has since May last year left over 200 people dead and nearly 50,000 displaced. Officials say the ethnic violence has degenerated into anarchy with underground militant groups regaining support.

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