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Manipur: Mortar shells, IED found in paddy fields; 12 'bunkers' destroyed by security forces

Forces said that a total of 1,100 arms and 13,702 ammunition and 250 bombs of different kinds have been recovered
Last Updated : 26 June 2023, 15:40 IST

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As the security forces continue the combing operations in search of the weapons allegedly snatched during the Meitei-Kuki riot, they are coming across with such weapons in abandoned houses, paddy fields and forests.

Manipur police and the central security forces recovered six mortar shells (three 51mm and three 84mm) in a paddy field of Sahumphai village in Chandel district while an IED was found in another paddy field between Kangvai and S.Kotilan villages on Sunday. "The mortar shells and the IED were destroyed by the state bomb disposal team," said an official statement issued by Manipur police control room.

It said combing operations were conducted by the state and central security forces in Tamenglong, Imphal East, Bishnupur, Kangpokpi, Churachandpur and Kakching districts on Sunday. The statement said at least 12 "bunkers" used by the miscreants were also destroyed during the operations in various districts.

It further said that a total of 1,100 arms and 13,702 ammunition and 250 bombs of different kinds have been recovered during the search carried out so far by the security forces. Sources in the state police had earlier said that nearly 4,000 weapons and ammunition were snatched from the state police armouries during the clashes, which broke out on May 3. Over 115 people have been killed and 0ver 60,000 others have been displaced so far due to the violence.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Manipur CM N Biren Singh had earlier urged all to return the weapons but the combing operation was launched as the appeals yielded not much result. The state police control room on Sunday again made the appeal to deposit such weapons and ammunition with the state police or central security forces immediately.

The statement said that the situation in the state is still tense as some sporadic incidents continue but it is under control in most districts. "The state police and the central forces conducted patrolling, flag marches and cordon and search operations in various places," it said.

The Union Home Minister Amit Shah, during his meeting with Manipur CM N.. Biren Singh in New Delhi on Sunday expressed concern over the "visible lawlessness" in the valley districts in view of recent incidents of firing and blockade of the security forces. Shah asked Singh to reach out to the civil society organisations in the Valley to restore peace. Talking to reporters in Imphal on Sunday evening, Singh said Shah assured him that he would take maximum responsibility for the hill districts.

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Published 26 June 2023, 06:43 IST

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