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Manipur: Encounter between security forces and militants a day after Amit Shah's return, houses also set on fire

Pankaj Prasad
Manipur Violence
Manipur Violence

A police official said the militants had an encounter with the security forces in Chandolpokpi, Tangjeng, Pombikhok and Kamsan villages of Bishnupur district on Friday morning.

Encounters between militants and security forces were reported from different parts of Manipur on Friday, a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah left for the ethnic conflict-hit northeastern state. During his visit, Shah appealed for peace and return of normalcy.

A police official said the militants had an encounter with the security forces in Chandolpokpi, Tangjeng, Pombikhok and Kamsan villages of Bishnupur district on Friday morning. The locals were forced to leave Tangjeng village after the attack by the militants. The militants also torched houses in Bethel village of Churachandpur district.

In Kangchup Chingkhong area of Imphal West district, a house was torched by the insurgents and an encounter broke out with the security forces, the police official said. However, no casualty has been reported in these incidents.

At least 98 people lost their lives and 310 others were injured in caste violence in the state, the government said in a statement on Friday. A total of 37,450 people are currently taking shelter in 272 relief camps, said a statement issued by the Chief Minister's Office (CMO).

Clashes first broke out on May 3 after a 'tribal solidarity march' was organized in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. The Meiteis constitute about 53 per cent of Manipur's population and mostly live in the Imphal Valley. The tribal Nagas and Kukis constitute 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts. Around 10,000 Army and Assam Rifles personnel have been deployed to restore peace in the state. After a relatively calm period of more than a fortnight, the state witnessed a spurt in clashes and firing between militants and security forces.