Manipur Violence: Government Authorizes Shoot-at-Sight Order for Extreme Cases
The Manipur government has authorized a shoot-at-sight order for ‘extreme cases’ related to the ongoing violence in the state. The order was issued by Governor Anusuiya Uikey and authorized all district magistrates, sub-divisional magistrates, and all executive magistrates/special executive magistrates to issue shoot-at-sight orders. The orders are only to be used “in extreme cases whereby all forms of persuasion, warning, reasonable force, etc. has been exhausted.” This decision comes after three people have died of bullet injuries sustained during the violence in Manipur’s Churachandpur, and four people have died in Imphal, according to news website East Mojo.
Background and Details
Trouble started brewing in the state on April 27, 2023, after incidents of violence, including vandalizing government properties, arson, and subsequently setting the venue where Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh was scheduled to inaugurate a facility. This incident was reported after agitated crowds, led by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum, who objected to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government’s survey of reserved and protected forest areas besides the wetlands in the state, went on a rampage. Over 9,000 people have been displaced from their homes, and widespread rioting across the state has resulted in the deployment of 55 columns of the Army and Assam Rifles, with 14 standby columns. The Rapid Action Force has also been dispatched to deal with the situation, and flag marches have been carried out to control the violence.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh has urged people to maintain peace, and curfews have been imposed in several districts. Meanwhile, the Manipur police have claimed that the Myanmarese people, who illegally entered the state, were also involved in the arson. The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum has accused the state government of demolishing a few churches in the state. On Wednesday, the Manipur government had to order suspension of mobile internet services for five more days in the wake of fresh violence in the Churachandpur and Bishnupur districts. Violence broke out and tension escalated during a rally organised by the All Tribal Students Union, Manipur (ATSUM). The silent rally by ATSUM, protesting against the inclusion of the Meitei/Meetei community in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category, all of a sudden turned ugly with protesters being severely injured. The Indian Army and Assam Rifles evacuated more than 7,500 civilians from various communities throughout the night to restore law and order in Manipur.
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