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Hold Officers Accountable, Says Manipur BJP MLA Rajkumar Imo Singh Over Jiribam Attacks, Convoy Ambush By Suspected Kuki Insurgents


Manipur BJP MLA Rajkumar Imo Singh calls for top cops’ accountability over insurgent attacks

Imphal/Guwahati:

Manipur BJP MLA Rajkumar Imo Singh has called for action against top police officers over the attack by heavily armed “Kuki insurgents” in Manipur’s Jiribam district bordering Assam on Sunday. The attack on Jiribam happened despite “advance intelligence report” given to the top police officers earlier this year, Mr Singh said.

“We have top police officials heading the intelligence wing in our state. State government has to initiate an enquiry regarding the lackadaisical attitude of the officers who were given advance intelligence report by the state government regarding the situation in Jiribam earlier this year,” Mr Singh said in a post on X.

“These officers should be held accountable for the loss of lives and property of all those affected and, pending such enquiry they should be suspended and strict action should be taken up against them as per procedures prescribed by law,” said the BJP MLA, who is also the son-in-law of Chief Minister N Biren Singh.

Government sources had said the Chief Minister was not made a part of the unified command which was set up in May last year after the outbreak of ethnic clashes between the valley-dominant Meitei community and the hill-dominant Kuki-Zo tribes. The unified command has elements from both state and central forces. This set-up should have worked to stop the 200 Kuki-Zo insurgents moving towards the hills bordering Jiribam, government sources had said.

The state government in January had written three times to the Director General of Police (DGP) asking to step up security and respond to any threat in Jiribam and pre-empt threats by suspected Kuki-Zo insurgents, according to the letters. Attacks by suspected Kuki insurgents and the displacement of people from both the Kuki tribes and the Meitei community in Jiribam, however, indicate the intelligence messages from the state government have not translated into action.

Imo Singh also said the top cops should be held accountable for the ambush on a state police team on Monday, ahead of a scheduled visit of the Chief Minister to Jiribam.

“Along with their associate officers, they should also be held accountable for the ambush on the state police team heading as advance cavalcade for the Chief Minister, which is also related to the Jiribam incident,” Imo Singh said in the post.

“As a Member of the Legislative Assembly of the state, I demand that the state government have the order issued immediately and fix responsibilities against all the officers and people involved, and further ensure that the people of Jiribam be given adequate security and allowed to continue living at the original place of residence sooner than later,” he added.

Some 550 Meiteis are living in schools and other public shelters in Jiribam. At least 200 members of the Kuki tribes and some Meiteis have also taken shelter in neighbouring Assam.

Meitei civil society groups have asked the state government and the security forces to ensure all the displaced families return home in Jiribam as soon as possible to avoid insurgents from occupying the villages and making new bunkers.

Government sources had said the attack on Meitei villages in Jiribam and the ambush on the police convoy had distinctive footprints of the tactics used by suspected Kuki insurgents in the trading town Moreh bordering Myanmar. The suspected insurgents then had also ambushed Manipur Police convoys going to Moreh from Imphal, apart from attacking police forces in the border town itself. The Kuki-Zo tribes had alleged the police of targetting them in Moreh and the Biren Singh government of siding with the Meiteis.

On Sunday, suspected Kuki insurgents came in three-four boats in a river on the edge of Jiribam and attacked many police outposts and set homes on fire. The attack started at 12.30 am in Jiribam’s Chotobekra, on the banks of the Barak river. More 70 houses were set on fire. “… Two police pickets and Borobekra Forest Beat Office were also burnt down by suspected Kuki armed miscreants,” the Manipur Police had said in a post on X.

Imo Singh’s comments also come a day after Mohan Bhagwat, the chief of the BJP’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), expressed concern over the situation in Manipur. “Manipur has been waiting for peace for a year. Violence has to be stopped, and it has to be given priority,” Mr Bhagwat told a gathering of RSS trainees in Nagpur.

Jiribam has a diverse ethnic composition. It had so far remained unaffected by the ethnic strife between the Meiteis and the Kuki-Zo tribes, which has been raging in Manipur since May last year. National Highway 37 passes through Jiribam town, and so this place is considered one of the two lifelines of Manipur, the other is the highway that goes to Assam via Nagaland.

The ethnic clashes that began over cataclysmic disagreements on sharing land, resources, affirmative action policies, and political representation, mainly with the ‘general’ category Meiteis seeking to be included under the Scheduled Tribes category, have taken the lives of over 220 people and internally displaced nearly 50,000.



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