Women protesters in Imphal on Wednesday took out a torch rally and marched towards Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s official residence in protest against violence that has been spiralling in the state since last year.
The rally was held after two security personnel were killed by armed militants in Moreh, a border town located on the India–Myanmar border in Tengnoupal district.
The women protesters, locally known as Meira Paibi (women torchbearers), gathered from Malom, Keishampat and Kwakeithel areas and shouted slogans while marching towards the Chief Minister’s Secretariat. They attempted to go inside the secretariat but were stopped by the police.
Women protesters condemned the latest gunfight in Moreh and other parts of Manipur and demanded the scrapping of the Suspension of Operations (SoO) deal with the hill-based militant outfits.
On August 22, 2008, the SoO agreement was sealed with the aim of starting a political dialogue with the militant groups.
The Manipur government had imposed a total curfew from 12 am on Tuesday following inputs of “likelihood of breach of peace, disturbance of public tranquillity and grave danger to human lives and property within the revenue jurisdiction of Tengnoupal”, according to news agency PTI.
Manipur has been witnessing sporadic violence after ethnic clashes broke out between Valley-majority Meiteis and hill-majority Kukis on May 3 last year. Over 180 people have died and thousands of others have been internally displaced.