Twelve bunkers have been destroyed in Manipur and six mortar shells seized during search operations by security forces, police said. The bunkers were destroyed in the last 24 hours during the search operations in Tamenglong, Imphal East, Bishnupur, Kangpokpi, Kakching and Churachandpur districts, police said on Sunday night. ”The situation is tense but under control with some sporadic incidents,” a police statement said.
During the search operations, three 51 mm and as many 84 mm mortar shells were found in a paddy field in Sahumphai and one IED was recovered in the vicinity of Kangvai and S Kotlian villages in Bishnupur district, it said. The mortar shells and IED were defused at the spot by bomb disposal teams. Altogether, 1,100 arms, 13,702 ammunitions and 250 bombs have been recovered since the ethnic clashes broke out in the northeastern state last month.
The state police had arrested 135 people for curfew violations, theft in abandoned houses and arson. More than 100 people have lost their lives in the ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki communities in Manipur so far.
Clashes first broke out on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals — Nagas and Kukis — constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.