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Manipur violence: 23,000 civilians rescued, Army increases aerial surveillance. Top updates

May 07, 2023 04:55 PM IST

In the past 24 hours, Manipur witnessed the army significantly increasing surveillance efforts by using aerial means.

The Indian Army and Assam Rifles, which had been called to quell the ethnic violence in Manipur, have rescued more than 23,000 civilians and moved them to the operating bases and military Garrisons, the army said in a statement on Sunday.

Vehicles set ablaze after a clash broke out during the 'Tribal Solidarity March called by the All Tribal Student Union Manipur (ATSUM) in the Torbung area of Churachandpur to protest the demand of Meiteis, who dominate the Imphal Valley, in Manipur on Thursday.(ANI)

News agency ANI reported that since the rescue operations began, no incidents of violence have been reported and the curfew hours had been relaxed from 7am to 10am.

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“Ray of hope due to efforts of 120- 125 Army and Assam Rifles columns who are working tirelessly for past 96 hours to rescue civilians across all communities, curb violence and restore normalcy has emerged with no major violence being reported and curfew, therefore being relaxed from 7-10 am today in Churachandpur followed by flag march by Security Forces immediately thereafter,” the army statement said.

In the past 24 hours, Manipur witnessed the army significantly increasing surveillance efforts by using aerial means. There has also been an increase in Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as well as army helicopters in the Imphal valley, ANI reported.

Since Wednesday, clashes took place between Meiteis, the dominant community in Imphal valley with over 53 per cent of the total state population, and the tribal communities, especially Kukis, residing in the hill districts. The immediate trigger for the violence was a proposal to include Meiteis in the scheduled tribe category.

The toll after ethnic clashes in Manipur rose to at least 55 on Saturday but there was little clarity on the true scale of the damage and fatalities.

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter to slam the BJP for the violence in Manipur. “As the Manipur violence persists, all right-thinking Indians must ask themselves what happened to the much-vaunted good governance we had been promised. The voters of Manipur are feeling grossly betrayed just a year after putting the BJP in power in their state. It’s time for President’s Rule; the state Govt is just not up to the job they were elected to do,” Tharoor tweeted.

Meanwhile, the number of people that have escaped Manipur and fled to the border areas of Assam, including Cachar, grew to at least 1,500 on Saturday. Eight camps have been set up by the Assam government, and a peace committee has been set up.

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