The army on Tuesday said it, along with the Assam Rifles, will continue to remain firm and resolute in carrying out actions to prevent any attempt that could result in furthering violence in strife-torn Manipur.
This comes a day after Manipur government approved withdrawal of the troops from the vital checkpoint at Moirang Lamkhai in Bishnupur following protests by Meira Paibi, a collective of Meitei women, against the brutality of Assam Rifles in the Imphal Valley.
According to the order passed by the Manipur DGP, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and state police were directed to replace the 9 Assam Rifles with immediate effect at the crucial checkpoint at Bishnupur-Kangvai road.
The protest against the brutality of Assam Rifles erupted following the emergence of a video which purportedly showed an altercation between the police personnel and the paramilitary force regarding their style of operation.
What did the Army say?
In a statement posted on Twitter, the Army's Spear Corps said there have been fabricated attempts to malign the image of the Assam Rifles, which has been engaged in restoring peace in ethnic violence-hit Manipur.
“Some inimical elements have made desperate, repeated, and failed attempts to question the role, intent, and integrity of the central security forces, especially Assam Rifles, working relentlessly towards saving lives and restoration of peace in Manipur from May 3 onwards," the statement said.
The army said it needs to be understood that due to the complex nature of the situation on the ground in Manipur, occasional differences at the tactical level do occur between various security forces.
According to the Army, two instances have emerged over the last 24 hours aimed at maligning the image of Assam Rifles.
In the first case, the army said, the Assam Rifles battalion has acted strictly following the mandate of the Unified Headquarters of strict enforcement of buffer zone guidelines towards the aim of preventing violence between the two communities.
In the second case, it said, the Assam Rifles being moved out of an area is not even related to them.
An infantry battalion of the army is deployed in the area, since the crisis erupted in May, from where the narrative of Assam Rifles being moved out has been made, it said.
"Indian Army and Assam Rifles assure the people of Manipur that we will continue to remain firm and resolute in our actions to prevent any attempt that could result in furthering violence in an already volatile atmosphere,” the statement said.
Manipur Police has registered an FIR accusing the Assam Rifles of blocking their vehicle after an altercation between the two groups last week.