Houses of MLA, others torched as Manipur violence continues
The militants, who signed the suspension of operation or SoO agreement with the government, came down the hills and torched the houses in Serou, the police said.
GUWAHATI: Suspected Kuki militants torched nearly 100 abandoned houses, including that of a Congress MLA, in the wee hours of Sunday as the ethnic violence in Manipur refuses to die down.
The militants, who signed the suspension of operation or SoO agreement with the government, came down the hills and torched the houses in Serou, a foothill area in the Kakching district, the police said.
This was the second time that they carried out an attack there. Several lives were lost and houses burned down in the first attack on May 28.
Local MLA K Ranjit of the Congress, whose house was among those burned down in the latest attack, was at Sugnu, located 3 km away, along with three BJP legislators when the attack was carried out.
A group of five legislators, led by Minister Yumnam Khemchand, faced the wrath of the people when they had gone to Sugnu on Saturday at around 5 pm to take stock of the situation.
The locals were enraged that the government failed to protect their lives and property. They demanded the immediate relocation of an Assam Rifles camp from a nearby area after alleging that the personnel were not taking any actions against the Kuki militants. Later, the mob allowed Khemchand to leave the place so he could meet Chief Minister N Biren Singh and place the locals’ demands. The four MLAs, however, stayed on. They left the place on Sunday morning.
A senior official said the government wanted the MLAs to stay there overnight, hoping that it would instil a sense of security among the people.
Khemchand told TNIE that panic had set in among the locals after the violent incidents.
“The people there don’t want the Assam Rifles. They staged a protest before us for the relocation of the Assam Rifles camp. I conveyed it to the CM,” Khemchand said.
“The Kuki militants are indulging in violence in the foothill areas. They come down the hills to carry out the attack. Sometimes, they fire from the hills,” the minister said.
He also said that the people had no complaints against Army or Border Security Force. He added that security personnel were not adequately deployed to the areas in Kakching.