Stopped from going after militants, say Manipur cops in FIR against Assam Rifles | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Stopped from going after militants, say Manipur cops in FIR against Assam Rifles

Aug 08, 2023 03:53 PM IST

The FIR, a copy of which seen by HT, was filed on August 5 hours after the standoff between Manipur police and Assam Rifles personnel surfaced on social media and widely circulated

A first information report (FIR) was registered by Manipur police against Assam Rifles personnel for allegedly stopping them from pursuing armed miscreants, who were involved in the killing of three men in Kwakta on Saturday morning.

More than 160 people lost their lives and several hundreds were injured since the ethnic clashes broke out on May 3. (ANI Photo)
More than 160 people lost their lives and several hundreds were injured since the ethnic clashes broke out on May 3. (ANI Photo)

The FIR, a copy of which seen by HT, was filed on August 5 hours after the standoff between Manipur police and Assam Rifles personnel surfaced on social media and widely circulated.

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In the video, Manipur police officers are seen accusing Assam Rifles of interfering in their operation while chasing the armed miscreants. The Assam Rifles officer, in the video, is heard saying that he is only doing his duty.

Also Read: At check point in Manipur, ‘biased’ Assam Rifles personnel replaced with civil police, CRPF

According to the FIR filed by the Manipur police, a team led by Bishnupur superintendent of police (SP) and other officers had proceeded towards Pholjang road along Kwakta ward 8 to chase “Kuki militants” who could have been involved in the three killings earlier that day.

The FIR said the police teams were conducting search operations.

“On reaching the Kutub Wali Masjid located at Kwakta ward 8 along Pholjang road, the state police teams were stopped, and their way was blocked by the personnel of the 9 Assam Rifles by keeping and parking their Casper vehicle in middle of the Kwakta Pholjang road, obstructing in discharging their law bound duty. As such the arrogant act of the personnel of 9th Assam Rifles giving a chance to the accused Kuki militants to escape freely to somewhere that is a free zone for them,” the FIR filed by the officer in charge of Phougakchao Ikhai police station said.

Three men were shot dead, and their bodies mutilated in their house in Kwakta ward 8 of Bishnupur, at around 3am on Saturday.

Following the murder, different Meitei groups began protesting against the Assam Rifles, demanding the removal of the force from Manipur.

The women groups have accused Assam Rifles of being biased in discharging their duty. The women also accused them of using excessive force dealing with Meitei women protesters.

On Monday, Assam Rifles personnel were replaced with civil police and CRPF at a check post in Moirang between Bishnupur and Kangvai in Manipur, an order issued by the Manipur police stated.

The order issued by the additional director general of police (law and order) did not cite any reason for the same.

The order, however, pertains to only one check point.

Assam Rifles and other paramilitary forces continue to remain posted across the state to restore normalcy.

At present, CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force), BSF (Border Security Force), SSB (Sashastra Seema Bal), ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) and Assam Rifles along with the Indian Army are posted in Manipur.

The forces are working under a unified interagency command to restore normalcy, headed by security advisor to Manipur government, Kuldiep Singh.

At least 160 people have died so far in the ethnic clashes between Meiteis and Kukis.

Clashes in Manipur first broke out on May 3 in Churachandpur town after Kuki groups called for protests against a proposed tweak to the state’s reservation matrix, granting scheduled tribe (ST) status to the Meitei community. Violence quickly engulfed the state where ethnic fault lines run deep, displacing tens of thousands of people who fled burning homes and neighbourhoods into jungles, often across state borders.

(HT has contacted the spokesperson of the Assam Rifles for their comments and this copy will be updated as and when the response is received)

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Prawesh Lama covers crime, policing, and issues of security in Delhi. Raised in Darjeeling, educated in Mumbai, he also looks at special features on social welfare in the National Capital.

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