The Indian Army on Monday released a video on Twitter purportedly showing women protestors impeding operations conducted by security forces in conflict-hit Manipur.
The video was released two days after a mob of around 1,200 people led by women in the Imphal East district surrounded security forces and refused to let them take 12 men associated with armed Meitei group Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup into custody.
The Army later released the men to a local leader in order to avoid any “collateral damage”.
On Monday, the Spear Corps released a video that purportedly showed the women “helping rioters flee”. The video – titled “Demystifying myth of peaceful blockade led by women in Manipur – showed multiple instances of protesters blocking security operations in June.
The Army alleged that in Yaingangpokpi in the Imphal East district, women accompanied armed rioters on June 23, and that even ambulances were being “used to carry rioters”.
Another visual from June 13 showed a crowd obstructing a road in Imphal East’s Nunshung, which is close to Khamenlok. A mob had engaged in arson in Khamenlok as well as areas situated to its north and north east on that day.
The Army also released visuals that purportedly showed protestors in Manipur digging up a road using heavy machinery to impede the movement of the Assam Rifles.
“Women activists in Manipur are deliberately blocking routes and interfering in operations of security forces,” the Spear Corps said in a tweet. “Such unwarranted interference is detrimental to the timely response by security forces during critical situations to save lives and property.”
On Saturday, security forces had launched an operation in the village of Itham in Imphal East and laid a cordon in the area. Among those who were apprehended and later released was Moirangthem Tamba alias Uttam, who was accused of having masterminded an ambush on an Army unit in 2015 that had left 20 soldiers dead.
Manipur has been marred by ethnic clashes between Meiteis and Kukis that have left more than 100 persons dead, over 300 injured and thousands displaced since May 3. The violence broke out after thousands of people participated in a protest march to oppose the demand of the majority Meiteis to be included in the Scheduled Tribes category.