Imphal: More than 140 weapons have been surrendered in different places in Manipur after Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s appeal a day ago, sources said on Friday.
Shah, on the last day of his four-day visit to Manipur on Thursday, appealed to all concerned to surrender their weapons to the security forces and administration.
He had also warned that a search-and-combing operation would be carried out in the state soon and anyone found to possess any weapon would be prosecuted.
After the home minister’s appeal in Imphal, more than 140 weapons have been surrendered till Friday morning, sources said.
They said the situation in Manipur was by and large peaceful in most districts and sporadic incidents of firing at or torching of empty houses by miscreants were becoming rare now as coordinated effort was made by different security agencies.
The surrendered weapons included self-loading rifles, carbine, AK and INSAS rifles, light machine guns, pistols, M16 rifles, smoke gun/tear gas, sten gun and grenade launcher.
Ethnic clashes broke out in the northeastern state on May 3 after a “Tribal Solidarity March” was organised in the state’s hill districts to protest the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
After a relative lull for over a fortnight, the state witnessed a spurt in clashes and gunfights between militants and security forces on Sunday.
More than 80 people have been killed in the violence, according to officials.
Sources said that as on Friday morning, 37,450 people are staying in 272 relief camps, including community halls.
While Imphal West district has 10 camps with 807 people, Imphal East has 39 camps with 7,183 people, Thoubal 12 camps with 1,408 persons, Bishnupur 58 camps with 8,031 persons and Churachandpur has 63 camps with 8,929 persons.
Tengnoupal district has nine camps with 884 persons, Kakching 14 camps with 992 persons, Jiribam three camps with 115 persons, Kangpokpi 54 camps with 8,000 persons, Ukhrul one camp with 35 persons, Senapati two camps with 552 persons, Kamjong five camps with 364 persons and Chandel has two camps with 150 persons.
The home minister had also said an Inter-Agency Unified Command would be formed for “better coordination” among all security agencies in Manipur as multiple forces were working on the ground.
Shah also warned militant groups against any violation of ceasefire agreements with the government.
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“Any deviation from the Suspension of Operations agreement will be considered as violation of the pacts they have signed. Strict action will be taken against the violators,” he said.
A number of militant groups in Manipur have signed such agreements and currently stay in camps under the watchful eyes of the Assam Rifles.
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