Imphal: Chief Minister N Biren Singh Sunday declared that the current crisis in Manipur is neither a clash between ethnic groups nor a law and order issue, but purely a declaration of war against the Indian Union by Myanmar and Bangladesh-based Kuki militants in collaboration with militant groups operating in the state.
The announcement came a few hours later after four more Kuki militants including two women were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the alleged abduction and murder of two young Meitei couples whose bodies were found last week. The two students – Phijam Hemjit, 20, and Hijam Lingthoinganbi, 17, were abducted during the first week of July.
The four accused identified as Paominlun Haokip, S Malswam Haokip, Lhingeichong Baitekuki and Tinneilhing Henthang were arrested by a team of CBI including state police personnel from an area between Kangvai and Molhoi village in the morning.
All four accused persons were immediately transported to Guwahati for further investigation and will be produced before the Competent Court in Guwahati, designated as per the orders of the Supreme Court.
Two minor children, whose names The NEA has withheld, were accompanied by the said arrested accused during transit from Imphal to Guwahati. They have been handed over to the District Child Protection Officer, Kamrup Metro District for their welfare, protection and care, a statement by the Central Investigating Agency said in a statement.
On Saturday, the National Investigation Agency, India’s premier counter-terrorism law enforcement agency, arrested a terror suspect from Churachandpur’s Torbung, the hotspot of the current violent ethnic clashes in Manipur, in a transnational conspiracy case involving terrorist leaders in Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Briefing media persons at his office in the evening, the Chief Minister reiterated that the current crisis was instigated by a group of people who wanted to disintegrate the State, but shown as an ethnic or communal clash, or religion-based, or between majority and minority, however, with the voice of people, the real cause has revealed slowly, he added.
Recalling the statement made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Parliament and by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Manipur violence and more importantly the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) statement on the arrest of Seiminlun Gangte, the Chief Minister spoke on the clear caused of the crisis. He continued that as the issue is war against the Indian Union, the Central Government will further take up necessary measures to tackle it.
N. Biren also informed that the CBI had arrested four persons from Henglep, Churachandpur district in connection with the brutal killing of two students and lauded the swift action taken by the CBI team including the Army, Paramilitary forces and the State Police. He said that his government would make sure that the culprits are given stringent punishment as per law.
Disturbance on police personnel
The chief minister also raised serious concerns about the frequent disturbances against the state police personnel including IRB and Manipur Rifles while performing their duties and said they are the ones fighting in the frontline against armed miscreants in the periphery areas.
There was loss of lives of personnel of State force and many got injured, he stated, appealing to the public to not have a negative view of State force.
N. Biren further appealed to the public to obey the rule of law by seeking permission from concerned Deputy Commissioners while carrying out protests and rallies. He continued that misunderstanding and confrontation between protesters and security forces could be avoided if we follow rules.