Manipur Police has taken action against five police personnel, including the station in-charge of Nongpok Sekmai police station, where the incident of two women being stripped and paraded by a mob occurred on May 4.
The suspension of the personnel was immediately decided upon after the video of the incident surfaced on July 19. The state police has also initiated a time-bound inquiry, led by an Inspector General of Police, to investigate the looting of an armoury on August 3 in Bishnupur.
Addressing Cycle of Violence
Manipur Police is making efforts to bring an end to the cycle of violence that erupted on May 3 between the majority Meitei and tribal Kuki communities. Despite daily protests by some sections of people from the majority community for reinstating the suspended officers, the decision to suspend them has not been reversed.
In order to maintain law and order, the police have been working relentlessly and collaborating with other agencies, including the Army and Assam Rifles. Essential supplies have been kept in surplus quantity to address the season of farming, ensuring that farming activities are not disrupted in the foothills.
Around 300 people have been arrested so far in connection with various cases related to the ethnic clashes. Several zero FIRs have been registered, and each claim is being cross-checked.
In the recent looting of arms and bullets from the headquarters of the 2nd India Reserve Battalion (IRB), an inquiry is underway, led by an Inspector General. The investigation is expected to be completed within six weeks.
Recent Incidents and Proactive Approach
Manipur Police has been proactive in dealing with incidents of violence. For instance, 30 people were arrested after an attack on an Inspector General rank officer outside the airport last month. Additionally, nine people, including five Meira Paibis (Women torch bearers), were arrested in connection with the brutal killing of a Naga Maring lady on July 15.
Despite efforts to address the violence, the officials acknowledge that normalcy is yet to be achieved. Each day without an incident is seen as an "absence of violence" and not a return to complete normalcy.
The state has witnessed more than 160 deaths and several hundred injuries since the ethnic clashes began on May 3, following a 'Tribal Solidarity March' in protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Ethnic Composition in Manipur
Meiteis constitute approximately 53 per cent of Manipur's population and predominantly live in the Imphal Valley.
On the other hand, the tribal communities, including Nagas and Kukis, make up a little over 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.