Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has announced a high-level probe into the recent communal violence that left over 60 people dead and hundreds others injured, and thousands of houses and places of worship burned. He also annouced ex-gratia for the victims of the violence.
A high-level investigation will be conducted to find out who instigated the violence and government servants who abdicated responsibility, the chief minister said, while speaking to mediapersons in Imphal.
"Any persons or group found involved in instigating the communal clash in Manipur will not be tolerated," he said.
The chief minister also said that state ministers Y Khemchand, K Govindas and Awangbow Newmai have been appointed as minister-in-charge to oversee the transportation of stranded people,
"Transportation of persons who have been stranded in various districts including Tengnoupal, Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, Ukhrul, Imphal West, Imphal East and others for return to their respective homes have started," he added.
According to the chief minister, "till date 35,655 persons have been moved to safe locations, the chief minister said, adding that 1,593 mainly students, have travelled outside the state safely.
"From safe locations and shelter camps, around 20,000 people have moved to their houses/villages, including Churachandpur (500 + 500) and Tengnoupal/ Moreh (400 + 400). About 10,000 stranded people are still left in shelter camps."
The chief minister also appealed to all not to hinder the efforts to transport families and people back to the safety of their homes. "All efforts are being made to protect life and property, without discrimination, across the state,” Biren said
He further said all who are stranded at different locations are being provided best possible care and support in safe location or shelter camps. All requirements can be addressed to minister Th Biswajit who is minister-in-charge of relief arrangements.
So far, as many as 60 people have been reported death, while 230 others injured and 1,700 houses, includind places of worship, were burnt down in the communal violence, he said, adding that the communal clashes took place at several parts of the state after the end of the tribal unity march that was conducted in all hill districts of the state on May 3.
The chief minister also said that amid the communal clash, protesters snatched 1,041 arms and 7,460 ammunitions. He said that till date 214 arms and 4,273 ammunitions have been recovered.
Biren said the protesters should surrender the snatched arms and ammunition to the nearby police stations immediately. If the protestors failed to surrender the snatched arms and ammunition immediately then the state government will take stringent actions against them under Arms Act.
Presently in order to maintain law and order in the state, 50 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and 105 columns of Assam Rifles/ Army are being deployed, in addition to 30,000 state police, he said.
The present status of Manipur is getting better and due to the reason curfew relaxation has started in all districts, to enable people to buy essentials, he added.
Superintendents of police have been directed to identify vulnerable areas and ensure round the clock provision of full proof security and protection for land and property in absence of their owner that was damaged during the clash, Biren said.
"Properties will be protected by the state police assisted by Central security forces, military and paramilitary forces till resumption of normalcy in the affected areas," he added.
Biren further said the state police and security forces had been directed to take immediate action as per law against persons attempting to loot or occupy such land and property. SPs of concerned districts will be held accountable for any lapses in this regard.
For those who are suffering due to the communal clash, the state government has decided to provide ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh for dead; Rs 2 lakh for grievous injuries and Rs 25,000 for non-grievous injuries; up to Rs 2 lakh as relief for families whose houses have been burnt down, after assessment by the authorities and homes that have been burnt down or damaged will be rebuilt.
"Victims are innocent people. Let’s all strive to bring peace and normalcy in the shortest possible time. Government machinery is working round the clock including ministers and MLAs to resolve the crisis," he said.
Biren appealed to the public to extend maximum cooperation to security forces to enable them to execute their tasks. "The public are requested to cooperate and assist in creating a safe and conducive environment to enable affected families to return to their respective homes,” he added.
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