On Thursday night, at approximately 9 pm, The Frontier Manipur, a prominent local news source, posted on their Facebook account alarming reports of a mob storming areas close to Chief Minister N. Biren Singh‘s ancestral residence in the Heingang Assembly Constituency. The post, accompanied by a screenshot depicting a chaotic scene, indicated that gunfire could be heard in the vicinity when the report was last updated.
Around two hours later, the Manipur Police swiftly responded to the situation on social media, declaring, “News of CM’s personal residence being mobbed is false and misleading. Adequate security is already in place.” This response was accompanied by a screenshot of Frontier Manipur’s initial social media post.
The conflicting narratives surrounding the incident have created a sense of uncertainty. Various videos have surfaced, depicting a mob in close proximity to the Chief Minister’s ancestral home. However, the Manipur Police maintain that they had deployed ample security measures to contain the crowd 100-150 meters from the residence.
While the mob did not breach the perimeter of the CM’s residence, the videos clearly show that they approached dangerously close, prompting security forces to employ measures such as firing tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.
Despite the deployment of a significant number of security forces, including central forces, a series of protests have erupted in Imphal since Monday following the release of distressing photos of two students who had gone missing since July, which surfaced on social media. Several students were reportedly injured during protests held in various parts of Imphal.
As of Friday, tension remains palpable in Imphal. However, the district magistrates in both Imphal West and Imphal East have temporarily relaxed the curfew for a few hours.
The statement regarding the relaxation of movement restrictions in both districts read, “The restriction of movement of persons outside their respective residences imposed in Imphal West and Imphal East is relaxed from 5 am to 11 am for all areas of the districts.”
Meanwhile, a meeting of senior officers of CAPF was also held at Manipur police headquarters in Imphal to discuss the present law and order situation in the state on Thursday.
According to police officials, the officers were briefed on the unfortunate injuries sustained by students and security personnel. The discussion revolved around the judicious use of minimal force when dealing with the public, especially students.
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“Manipur Police appeals to the students to co-operate with law enforcement agencies in maintaining peace and bringing normalcy back early. Any miscreants taking advantage of the current situation will be firmly dealt by police,” it stated.
Joint security forces are diligently working towards expediting investigations into all related cases, the statement concluded.
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