Curfew in Imphal as Clashes Between the Hill and Valley Turn Violent
People stand in a queue for fuel at a petrol pump in Imphal, which has been suffering from the economic blockade imposed by some of the Naga tribal groups since November. (Photo: PTI)
New Delhi: The capital town of Imphal is engulfed in violence once again, with over 20 vehicles torched and traffic movement disrupted.
Curfew has been imposed in Imphal and mobile internet has been stopped to curtail violence and rumour mongering.
The violence began when protesters angry with the ongoing economic blockade in the state took to protesting on the streets and attacking vehicles coming from the Naga dominated hill districts. Several vehicles have been set on fire and vandalised. One bus was pushed into a river. So far there has been no report of any casualty
Imphal has been suffering from the economic blockade imposed by some of the Naga tribal groups since November. Prices of essential commodities have gone up, including fuel and medicines to the state.
The attack comes on the day when a dawn-to-dusk shutdown has been called by civil society groups of the city, against the economic blockade.
There has been a rise in attacks by the suspected Naga terror groups, leading to the Manipur government writing to the centre and asking them to revoke ceasefire with NSCN(IM) atleast in Manipur. The Chief Minister of Manipur has also asked for significant reinforcement of para military troops.
The economic blockade and the terror strikes are seen as a response to the government's decision to carve out seven new districts in the state. The Naga groups allege the new districts encroach on their ancestral land. This comes at a time when the NSCN(IM) leadership claims a solution on the lines of Greater Nagalim is on the cards.
A group of around 70 suspected Naga terrorists attacked a police camp and stole nine automatic weapons from the reserve battalion of Manipur police. There have been atleast three attacks on the Manipur police, which the Manipur government claims have been conducted by NSCN(IM) cadres.
If this situation isn't checked, then there could be another Manipur election ( due early next year) under the shadow of total polarisation between valley and the hill populace.