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Curfew clamped in Manipur’s two districts after massive protests erupt

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Imphal, June 7 (IANS) Curfew was imposed in Manipur’s Jiribam and Tamenglong districts, adjoining Assam, for an indefinite period after protests erupted over the killing of a 59-year-old man by suspected ‘armed attackers’, officials said on Friday.A Manipur police official in Imphal said that the situation remained tense but under control on Friday after local people organised massive protests following the recovery of the body of Soibam Saratkumar Singh at Jiribam on Thursday night with injuries and several cut marks.After setting some abandoned structures on fire, local people staged massive protests. A section of protesters demanded the return of their licenced firearms in Jiribam. The weapons were deposited in the wake of recent Lok Sabha elections.Police resorted to a lathi charge to disperse the mob.A joint control room comprising officials of Assam Rifles, Central Reserve Police Force, and Manipur Police has been set up in the Jiribam district for effective, smooth and fast flow of communication for controlling the situation and to bring back normalcy at the earliest.A large contingent of security forces comprising state police and central forces have been deployed in both Jiribam and the adjacent Tamenglong district.Bordering Assam, Jiribam is a mixed-populated district inhabited by Meiteis, Muslims, Nagas, Kukis and non-Manipuris and the district had so far largely remained unaffected by the ethnic violence which ravaged Manipur since May 3 last year.The ethnic conflict between Meiteis and Kuki-Zomi has so far claimed over 220 lives in both communities.Over 1,500 people in both communities and over 70,000 people have been displaced from their homes and villages in the over-a-year-long ethnic violence.The rioting also has left thousands of houses, government and non-government properties, and religious structures destroyed or damaged.–IANSsc/dpb

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