An Income Tax Department official posted in Imphal, Manipur, was killed during violent protests, according to the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) Association. The unrest also saw the assault of BJP MLA Vungzagin Valte, who has since been airlifted out of the state and is reportedly in stable condition. The situation in Manipur has been volatile for the past few days, with ethnic rioting leading to sporadic clashes and gunfights between militant groups and security forces.
To quell the violence, additional security forces were rushed in from other states via road and air. The army has reportedly taken “firm control” of Churachandpur, Moreh, Kakching, and Kangpokpi districts, relocating and rescuing over 13,000 people to safe havens, including army camps. The Manipur administration has also been preparing forces to deploy at 23 different locations with various police stations, with sensitive areas being dominated by the RAF, Assam Rifles, BSF, and IRB.
The violence began when an armed mob allegedly attacked members of the Meitei community during a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ organized by the All Tribal Student Union Manipur (ATSUM) to protest the Meiteis’ demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. The march was organized by tribals, including Nagas and Kukis after the Manipur High Court ordered the state government to send a recommendation to the Centre on the Meitei community’s demand for ST status.
This led to retaliatory attacks in the valley districts, escalating the violence across the state and resulting in over 13,000 people being displaced from both communities. Protests were held across the country in response to the violence in Manipur, prompting the Manipur government to issue “shoot at sight” orders and Chief Minister N Biren Singh to state that his administration is taking all necessary steps to bring the situation under control.
In the last 12 hours, there have been sporadic incidents of arson and attempts by hostile elements to establish blockades in Imphal East and West districts, but the situation has been brought under control by a firm and coordinated response from Defence officials. Meanwhile, trains to Manipur have been canceled with immediate effect due to the situation in the state.