Published By: Pragati Pal
Last Updated: June 11, 2023, 14:46 IST
Over 50,000 people, who have been displaced by the ethnic violence in Manipur, are currently staying at 349 relief camps across the state, a minister said on Sunday.
State Information and Public Relations Minister Dr R K Ranjan said combing operations have been launched in all districts, particularly in vulnerable areas.
He said 53 arms and 39 bombs have been recovered during the operation.
Ranjan, who is also the government spokesperson, said a road map for the education of students, which has been affected due to the ethnic clashes, has been chalked out and would be made public soon.
“Altogether 50,698 people displaced by the ethnic violence are currently sheltered at 349 relief camps,” said an official statement quoting the minister.
District and cluster nodal officers have been asked to look after the relief centres which have been opened especially for women, elderly people and children.
A price control mechanism has been put in place to check the price rise of essential commodities, he said, adding that various goods are being brought to the state through NH-37.
As much as 35,000 metric tonnes of construction materials, fuels and essential commodities have been taken to Manipur in 2,376 trucks since violence erupted in early May, the statement said.
Altogether 198 of the existing 242 bank branches are now operational, and the rest would be made functional at the earliest, Ranjan said.
Notably, a large number of weapons were looted from police stations in early May when ethnic violence broke out in the state.
Both Chief Minister N Biren Singh and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have appealed to people to surrender their weapons.
Overall 990 arms and 13,526 ammunition have been surrendered to the government, the statement said.
Army and para-military forces in collaboration with the state police have been carrying out combing operations to defang communities and bring back peace in the state.
Meanwhile, a drop box for returning weapons snatched from security forces set up at the home of a BJP legislator from Imphal East has become a popular attraction with local youth, who have taken advantage of the anonymous facility to deposit 130 weapons, including sophisticated automatic rifles.
A large poster at a covered shed outside the home of L Susindro Meitei, who is currently a minister in the Manipur government, said ‘Please drop your snatched weapons here’ both in English and Meitei language.
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.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)