Manipur violence: Blockades on NH-37 almost cleared, obstruction on NH-2 continues
Blockades by a tribal group on the National Highway-37, connecting Manipur's Imphal with Silchar of Assam, were more or less cleared, as the movement of 171 trucks with essential commodities was ensured, police said on Tuesday.
However, the roadblocks on National Highway-2, which links Imphal with Nagaland's Dimapur, by the tribal outfit continued.
Committee on Tribal Unity had on Monday reimposed blockades at a few places on NH 2 in Kangpokpi and NH 37 in Tamenglong district, demanding adequate supplies of essential commodities to Kuki-Zo communities in hill areas of Manipur.
"Movement of 171 vehicles along NH 37 with essential items has been ensured," police said in a statement.
Strict security measures were taken up in all vulnerable locations and security convoy is provided in sensitive stretches to ensure free and safe movement of vehicles, it said.
Six people have been arrested in connection with an incident of arson in which four abandoned houses and a community hall were burnt in Imphal West a day before, while arms and ammunition were seized during search operations across several districts, the police said.
"In the intervening night of August 20 and 21, unknown miscreants set on fire four abandoned houses, one hut and one community hall at Langol, Imphal West district. Six people have been arrested in connection with the arson," the police said.
Search operations were conducted by security forces in the fringe and vulnerable areas of Imphal West and East, Thoubal, Kakching, Churachandpur, Tengnoupal Kangpokpi and Bishnupur districts.
"Seven arms and 81 ammunitions were recovered from Imphal East, Kangpokpi and Tengnoupal districts," the police said.
A total of 129 checkpoints were installed in different districts of Manipur, both in the hills and the valley, and the police detained 1,369 people for violating laws across the state.
The violence in the state erupted in early May after a Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Since then, more than 160 people have died and several hundreds were injured in ethnic clashes in Manipur.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mainly in the hill districts.