Mob tries to storm Union minister’s house in Manipur

A mob tried to storm the house of Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Education R K Ranjan Singh at Kongba in Manipur’s East Imphal district late on Thursday night.

A large number of Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Manipur Police personnel reached the spot and dispersed the mob before it could storm into the house, where the minister is learnt to have been present. No casualties were reported.

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Meanwhile, on Friday, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh urged the public not to be worried as operations against armed miscreants had begun both in the hills and the valley.

He said as many as 38 vulnerable areas have been identified where troops from central and state forces will operate jointly.

Most of these vulnerable areas are situated in the peripheral areas of valley districts bordering Kuki-dominated districts, including the Torbung area of Bishnupur district, which is at the epicentre of the latest flare-up of tensions in the state.

Manipur saw ethnic clashes earlier this month, in which around 75 people were killed. On Wednesday, a flare-up of the violence saw several houses being burnt in Bishnupur and shooting incidents in multiple locations, leading to the death of at least one civilian.

Biren Singh said on Friday that 34,000 troops from central forces were currently stationed in Manipur. Their presence had brought down the prevailing sense of apprehension to some extent, he said.

“Our priority is to create a conducive atmosphere. We want the public to feel safe and secure. I urge the public not to be apprehensive anymore as joint forces have launched operations against armed miscreants,” the Chief Minister said.

“Our government is doing whatever we can on all fronts… I appeal to the public to restrain from taking violent means,” he added.

Asked about allegations of the involvement in arson and firing incidents of militants that come under Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement – a pact between several militant groups, the Indian government and the state government aimed at initiating dialogue – Singh said most of the militant cadres were made to stay in their designated camps with proper monitoring.

“We do not deny the involvement of splinter groups that are not under the SoO agreement,” he said, adding that Union Home Minister Amit Shah had given his assurance that those elements would be dealt with separately.