Over 30 people were injured in a clash between protestors from the Meitei community and security forces in Manipur’s Bishnupur district on Thursday, a senior police official told Scroll.
This was after a mob of around a thousand women from the Meira Paibis, a community of Meitei women, attempted to cross a barricade placed by security forces.
The official said the clashes began at 8.30 am and lasted till the afternoon.
“The security forces resorted to tear gas to disperse the mob and over 30 women were injured in the clashes between the mob and security forces,” the official said.
The women were demanding that they be allowed to visit a proposed burial site of Kukis killed in the ethnic violence in the state, according to PTI.
The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum, a group representing the Kuki-Zo people, had planned the burial of 35 people who were killed in ethnic riots in the state at a site in Haolai Khopi village of Churachandpur.
However, a public interest litigation petition was filed before the Manipur High Court by the International Meeteis’ Forum, seeking that the burial be stopped as it was being planned on government property, according to The Hindu.
At a special hearing held at 6 am, the Manipur High Court ordered status quo at the site.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice MV Muralidaran and Justice Guneshwar Sharma said that this was necessary taking into account “the potentiality of aggravating the already volatile law and order situation and the possibility of igniting a fresh wave of violence and bloodshed due to the gathering of a large mob from both the communities at the land in question,” according to Live Law.
Meanwhile, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum said that they have agreed to conditionally postpone the burial for seven days, following a request from Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai and Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga had also made a similar request, the organisation said.
“We had a marathon meeting last night till 4 am due to a new development,” the group’s Media Convenor Ginza Vualzong said, according to PTI. “The MHA [Ministry of Home Affairs] requested us to delay the burial and that if we comply with the request, we will be allowed to bury [the 35 people] in the same location and the government will legalise the land for the burial.”
Mobs attempt to loot arms in Imphal, Bishnupur
A senior Manipur official told Scroll that mobs in Imphal and Bishnupur tried to loot arms from security establishments.
In Imphal, a Manipur Rifles member named Tourangbam Rishi sustained a bullet injury in the head during the violence that took place when the mob tried to loot weapons, the Ukhrul Times reported. Security forces, however, thwarted the looting attempt.
In Bishnupur, a mob stole some weapons but was prevented from carrying out more looting by security persons.