Manipur: Security forces ensuring truck movement with essentials

Imphal: Trucks carrying essential commodities to violence-hit Manipur are plying with special security cover to ensure that there is no shortage of goods in the Northeastern state, a defence spokesperson said on Sunday.

The Army and Assam Rifles along with the state government, Manipur Police and central armed police forces are working to provide protection to vehicles carrying such goods to and from Imphal via NH 37, the defence spokesperson said.

Prophylactic Area Domination Patrols of Army and Assam Rifles, Quick Reaction Teams operating from Company Operating Bases located along NH 37, aerial surveillance by unmanned aerial vehicles and Cheetah helicopters, Companies of CRPF and Manipur Police personnel along with persons from India Reserve Battalion have been tasked to ensure the security of civilian vehicles plying on NH 37, he said.

To guarantee dedicated security, vehicles are also accompanied by Quick Reaction Teams of the Manipur Police and CRPF, he added.

Truck movement to the Imphal Valley had stopped due to roadblocks and fear among transporters as clashes broke out in Manipur after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

“As a result, the stock of essential supplies in the state was dwindling and beginning to reach critical levels which resulted in planning movement through NH 37,” the Defence PRO, Imphal, said.

Movement of trucks on NH 37 commenced on May 15 and security forces remain committed to restoring complete normalcy, the spokesperson said.

The violence in Manipur was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.

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Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals — Nagas and Kukis — constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.

The ethnic clashes claimed over 70 lives and some 10,000 army and para-military personnel had to be deployed to restore normalcy in the northeastern state.

Also read | BJP MLA Imo Singh seeks probe into Manipur crisis, calls for peace

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