Suspected militants in Manipur’s Jiribam district torched a police outpost and set several houses on fire on Saturday, reported PTI.

Violence had erupted in the district on Thursday evening after the body of a Meitei man was found in the Mulargaon area. To restore law and order, district authorities banned five or more people from assembling under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

At 12.30 am on Saturday, the suspected militants torched the Jiri police outpost located in the Chotobekra area, reported PTI. The miscreants also set fire to several houses, mostly in the outlying areas of Jiribam, the news agency reported citing an unidentified district official.

The district authorities have also evacuated 239 persons, mostly women and children, from their villages in Jiribam, PTI reported. They are taking shelter at a sports complex in Jiri town.

To curb violence in the district, a commando contingent of the Manipur Police arrived in Jiribam on Saturday.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the Manipur government transferred Jiribam’s Senior Superintendent of Police A Ghanashyam Sharma. The state government has appointed M Pradip Sharma, who belongs to the Meitei community, as the new superintendent of police of the district.

Angomcha Bimol Akoijam, the newly-elected Congress MP from the Inner Manipur Lok Sabha seat, urged the state’s Bharatiya Janata Party government to protect the lives and properties of the people of Jiribam district, reported PTI.

“I have talked with district officials of Jiribam,” Akoijam told reporters. “They said some reinforcements have arrived. While those in the town are being provided security, those in peripheral areas are not being provided security.”

The Meitei man whose body was found on Thursday was identified as Soibam Sarathkumar Singh. Singh was picked up by “unknown miscreants” when he was returning home from his farm, The Print quoted unidentified police sources as saying.

Jiribam, which has a mixed population of Meiteis and tribal communities, has been relatively peaceful amid the ethnic conflict in the rest of the state.

Violence between Manipur’s Meitei and Kuki communities has left at least 224 persons dead and displaced 60,000 people from their homes since the beginning of the clashes in May 2023.

Singh’s family did not initially file a complaint but only verbally informed the police that he was missing. The police filed a case after his body was found.

Subsequently, mobs allegedly set three to four abandoned Kuki homes on fire. A mob also allegedly surrounded the Jiribam police station and demanded that the police return licenced guns that had been temporarily confiscated on account of the Lok Sabha elections.