IMPHAL : Around 50 people, including women, were injured in different clashes and firing incidents at Pallel in Manipur’s Tengnoupal district on Friday, officials said.
Several media reports said that two people were killed in these clashes and firing incidents. However, the police are yet to confirm the casualties.
According to the police, 11 civilians sustained bullet wounds in the clashes between rival armed groups and the security forces.
As the news of firing spread on social media, hundreds of men and women from Thoubal and Kakching districts rushed to Pallel, but they were stopped by Assam Rifles personnel leading to stone pelting by the agitating people.
Over 30 people, mostly women, were injured after Assam Rifles lobbed teargas shells to disperse the mob.
An Assam Rifles jawan also sustained minor injury.
A large contingent of Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel tried to move to Pallel from Imphal to control the mob, but the protesters blocked the roads at Thoubal leading to confrontations.
More than 10 people including women were injured in the clashes with the RAF personnel.
Though the firing has reportedly stopped in Tengnoupal district and other places just before the evening, the situation is still tense.
The Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), an apex body of the Meitei community, and leading tribal organisation Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) gave accused each other for the attacks.
Friday’s incidents took place two days after thousands of protesters had gathered at Phougakchao Ikhai in Bishnupur district to break through army barricades in a bid to return to their houses in Torbung, which they had vacated and took shelter in the relief camps after violence broke out in Manipur on May 3.
In view of the incidents on Friday, curfew relaxation periods have been shortened till 12 noon in different districts.
Manipur police said on X (formerly Twitter): “There are posts on social media regarding exchange of fire between Kuki militants and Meitei village volunteers, which are not correct. It is clarified that the incident was related to firing between security forces and armed miscreants at Pallel.”
Meanwhile, a women’s organisation has called statewide ‘Public Curfew’ on Saturday and Sunday demanding restoration of peace in Manipur and replacement of Assam Rifles by any other Central para military force.
Manipur Chief Secretary Vineet Joshi in an appeal requested the people and all organisations to maintain peace and normalcy and help the law enforcing agencies and the administration to keep the situation normal and prevent all kinds of troubles. — IANS