On Thursday, 03rd August, fresh incidents of violence surfaced in Manipur. In 2 separate incidents, a police armory was looted, and a police official from the Manipur Rifles was killed.
As per reports, the armoury loot incident was reported from Bishnupur. A mob broke into a police armoury and looted sophisticated weapons. An AK assault rifle, 3 Ghatak series assault rifles, 195 self-loading rifles, five MP-5 guns, 16 9mm pistols, 25 bulletproof jackets, 21 carbines, 124 hand grenades, and over 19,000 bullets of various calibers have been looted by armed miscreants.
Manipur: In a fresh incident of arms looting, a mob broke into a police armoury and looted weapons, including AK and ‘Ghatak’ series of assault rifles, and over 19,000 bullets of various calibre.
The incident happened at the battalion headquarters of the 2nd India Reserve…
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) August 4, 2023
PTI reported that the incident happened at the battalion headquarters of the 2nd India Reserve Battalion (IRB), located at Naranseina, in the Bishnupur district.
As per reports, the armoury loot incident is not the first or standalone. Since the current series of violence and riots between the Kuki and Meitei communities began in the state, multiple police armouries have been looted across the state.
More than 4000 weapons and lakhs of bullets have been looted by the violent mobs. So far, only 1600 weapons have been recovered.
In the current arms loot case, the FIR filed by the police said, “A large number of armed miscreants came in over 45-50 light vehicles and over 500 persons on foot. Together the mob stormed into the IRB armoury by overpowering the guards at the entry gate. They broke 2 doors and stormed into the armoury.”
All attempts by the police to stop the large mob reportedly failed. The police have stated that they fired over 327 rounds of ammunition, and tear gas shells but they were unable to control the mob.
As per reports, about 12 km away from the armoury loot incident, another large group of people, mostly women, had clashed with the Rapid Action Force (RAF) to disrupt a mass burial of over 35 Kuki-Zo persons. Bricks and wooden logs were hurled at the RAF personnel.
The said land where the burial was about to take place, is reportedly conflicted. It is a government-notified land that Kukis claim belongs to the Churachandpur district and the Meiteis say belongs to the Bishnupur district. After the Home Ministry’s intervention and discussion with tribal leaders, the burial was called off.
In a separate incident, Manipur Rifles personnel T Rishi was brutally shot in the head by armed miscreants from the hills. He succumbed to his injuries. The incident occurred in Kourtuk, near the Imphal West-Kangpokpi border. After the murder of the policeman, curfew relaxations allowed in the area have been withdrawn.
More than 150 people have been killed and over 54,000 people have been displaced since the ethnic violence began between the Kuki and Meitei communities in Manipur.
A detailed article on the Meitei-Kuki conflict and underlying issues can be read here.