The India-Myanmar border town of Moreh was reminiscent of a war zone as armed groups and security forces engaged in a fierce gunfight following a mob’s act of burning down around 30 abandoned houses and shops. This incident occurred in the aftermath of the ethnic strike strife in Manipur, which began on May 3.
According to security sources, the mob gathered in Moreh at approximately 9:30 am, and within the next two hours, they set houses and shops ablaze at three different locations. Even a department guest house suffered partial damage in the incident. Security forces attempted to disperse the mob, leading to an exchange of fire with unidentified armed groups. The mob finally dispersed around 12:20 pm, according to a reliable source.
Moreh, a quiet town known for its traditional wood stilt houses, frontier hotels, and stores, is located 120 km southeast of Imphal. The rutted NH-102 winds through hills, connecting Imphal to the town, which was once envisioned as a major international trading center.
During a gathering at the Kargil Vijay Divas function in Imphal, CM N Biren Singh attributed the current situation to elements trying to disrupt the peaceful coexistence of communities in the state. He mentioned that the trouble started when his government took action against drug cartels, warning that the state would not yield to any threats aimed at destabilizing it. Singh appealed to the people to abstain from violence and urged their cooperation in restoring peace for all communities.
On Tuesday, miscreants fired gunshots in the Heikol and Phougakchao Ikhai areas, injuring three civilians. Security forces retaliated and repelled the shooters.
Regarding the burning of two buses in Sapermeina, Kangpokpi district on Tuesday, the police reported arresting nine individuals, including a juvenile. Additionally, the police are conducting searches to apprehend those involved in the incident of parading two women naked on May 4, and so far, seven suspects have been arrested.
Singh tweeted about the progress of constructing temporary houses in Thoubal, stating that completion is nearing, and soon families from relief camps will be able to move in.
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