The ethnic unrest that has wracked the northeastern state of Manipur over the past few days claimed the lives of 60 people, wounded 231 others, and caused the burning of 1,700 homes, including places of worship, according to Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Monday.
The state cabinet decided to give ex gratia payments of Rs 5 lakh to the relatives of the deceased, Rs 2 lakh to those who sustained significant injuries, and Rs 25,000 to those who had minor injuries, according to the chief minister, who was speaking at a news conference today.
“These are very very unfortunate incidents. I appeal to people to bring peace together at the earliest,” Singh said.
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He said that during the violence, 1,700 homes, including churches and temples, were destroyed by fire.
According to the chief minister, people whose homes were damaged would receive Rs 2 lakh in compensation, and the government will reconstruct them.
“In the wake of the unfortunate incident that happened in Manipur, more than 20,000 people who were left stranded in relief camps have been moved to safety till today. Another 10,000 more stranded people will be transported to safety as soon as possible…. Human lives are precious and destroying homes and properties are unacceptable,” Singh said.
According to the chief minister, 214 out of the 1041 firearms stolen from security force members have been found.
He warned that a “mass combing operation” would be started if people who stole the firearms didn’t bring them back to the closest police station.
According to him, the administration has taken a number of actions to assist those who have become trapped in the Churachandpur, Ukhrul, Imphal West, Imphal East, and Kangpokpi districts of the state.
According to him, a cabinet panel has been established to supervise the transportation of the stranded persons to their designated locations.
“The SPs have been directed to identify vulnerable areas and ensure round-the-clock provision of full-proof security and protection for land and property, in the absence of their owners. They have been directed to take immediate action as per law against persons attempting to loot or occupy such land and property,” Singh said.
The situation in Manipur is fast returning to normal, says Kuldeep Singh, Security Advisor to the chief minister.
He told reporters that 218 FIRs were registered against miscreants involved in the rioting.
Violent clashes broke out in the northeastern state after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the 10 hill districts on 3 May to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, leading to the deaths of at least 54 people.
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 live in the hill districts.
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