The Army Chief Arrives in Manipur, Affected by Violence
Joined by GoC-in-C Eastern Order Lt Gen Rana Pratap Kalita, Gen Pande arrived at the Bir Tikendrajit Imphal Worldwide Air terminal in the early evening for his two-day visit to the state.
According to officials, Army chief General Manoj Pande arrived in Manipur on Saturday to assess the state of law and order after the state reported an increase in sporadic violence incidents over the past few days.
Gen. Pande arrived at the Bir Tikendrajit Imphal International Airport in the afternoon for his two-day visit to the state, accompanied by Lt Gen Rana Pratap Kalita, head of the GoC-in-C Eastern Command.
The officers were taken to the Assam Rifles’ IG headquarters in Imphal, Mantripukhri, by a large security guard.
PTI was informed by a senior Army official that Gen. Pande and Lt. Gen. Kalita arrived in the state capital from Delhi to assess the situation on the ground in light of the ongoing ethnic clashes.
He added, “Gen. Pande will discuss the situation with the governor, chief minister, and security advisor.”
Gen Pande and Lt Gen Kalita will likewise meet the ground officers, including those from different powers, and audit the rule of peace and law circumstance.
According to the official, he will go to a variety of locations to talk to the troops and get a firsthand account of the situation.
Gen Pande is booked to return on Sunday, while Lt Gen Kalita is probably going to remain back for Association Home Priest Amit Shah’s visit to the state from Monday, Armed force sources said.
After a May 3 “Tribal Solidarity March” in the hill districts to protest the majority Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, clashes broke out in Manipur.
Tensions over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land that had sparked a series of smaller agitations preceded the violence.
Meiteis make up about 53% of Manipur’s population, most of whom live in the Imphal Valley. Tribals – – Nagas and Kukis – – comprise another 40% of the populace and live in the slope areas.
Over 70 people were killed and dozens were injured as a result of the ethnic conflicts.
To restore normalcy in the Northeastern state, approximately 140 columns of the Army and Assam Rifles, each with over 10,000 personnel, were required. Additional security forces were also required.
In the wake of earlier ethnic rioting, armed vigilante groups have been taking the law into their own hands in parts of the state, making the peace process more difficult. Ethnic tension has been mixed with militant groups at times, making the situation even more volatile.