Union minister RK Ranjan Singh’s house torched amid fresh violence in Manipur
The attack on Union minister RK Ranjan Singh’s house was the latest in a series of attacks on the residences of politicians
A mob set Union minister RK Ranjan Singh’s residence afire in Manipur’s Imphal even as an unspecified number of people were injured when armed men attacked a village in Kuki-dominated Churachandpur district on Thursday night, officials aware of the matter said.
The arson attack amid protracted ethnic violence in Manipur came days after a mob stormed Singh’s residence on May 23 before security personnel managed to disperse the attackers by firing in the air.
Officials said some vehicles parked outside the house were also damaged but no one was injured in the arson attack around 10pm on Thursday. Firefighters and security forces rushed to the scene and doused the flames and dispersed the mob of around 50 people.
Singh, who is in New Delhi with his family, did not respond to phone calls for comments. No one was at their residence when it was attacked.
The attack on Singh’s house was the latest in a series of attacks on the residences of politicians. On Wednesday, unidentified attackers torched Manipur minister Nemcha Kipgen’s official residence when she was not there. No one was injured in the incident.
Kipgen, who is the only woman in the Manipur Cabinet, was among the 10 Kuki lawmakers who sought a separate administration for Kuki-Zomi-Chin-Hmar communities amid the violence.
On May 4, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker (BJP) Vungzagin Valte sustained grievous injuries when a mob attacked him in Imphal. Valte is undergoing treatment in Delhi.
Another Cabinet minister Govindass Konthoujam’s house was vandalised in Imphal on May 24. A day later another mob tried to attack state minister T Biswajit Singh’s residence in Imphal.
BJP lawmaker K Raghumani Singh’s home was vandalised in Lamphel on May 28. On June 9, a grenade was hurled at the residence of BJP lawmaker Soraisam Kebi.
The fresh violence late on Thursday was reported hours after a mob burnt down two houses as clashes broke out between protesters and security personnel in Imphal. Two days earlier nine people were gunned down and another 10 injured in the sharpest escalation of violence in the state. It was the highest number of casualties in a single day since violence first broke out on May 3.
The two houses were burned down before security forces arrived at the scene to prevent more violence. But clashes broke out between protesters comprising mostly women, and security personnel and left at least three people injured. Rapid Action Force and other security personnel resorted to force and fired tear gas shells to disperse the mob.
Clashes between the majority Meitei community and the tribal Kuki community first erupted on May 3. They have since left at least 115 people dead. At least 300 people have been injured and nearly 40,000 displaced. Clashes were triggered during a protest against a court order for considering Scheduled Tribe status to the Meiteis.
Violence quickly engulfed the state and forced the authorities to clamp a curfew and suspended the internet. Additional security forces were rushed to the state but tensions have simmered. The internet is still not fully back in the state.
Union home minister Amit Shah visited the state between May 31 and June 3. The Central Bureau of Investigation is looking into five cases of violence and a sixth case of conspiracy behind the cases. The government has also announced a peace committee but prominent groups from both sides of the divide have distanced themselves from the process.