National

Manipur: 2 Injured In Clashes In Imphal, Mobs Try To Burn BJP Leaders' Houses

Mobs tried to burn the house of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Biswajeet in Manipur. The BJP office at Sinjemai and the home of Sharda Devi, BJP women's wing chief, in Imphal were also attacked.

Two houses burnt in ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur.
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Two civilians were injured in the violence on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday as mobs clashed with security forces in Manipur's Imphal.

In the latest violent episodes in Manipur, mobs have repeatedly tried to burn the houses of leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

The incidents of clashes and attempts at arson targeted at BJP leaders' houses follows the act of setting the house of Union minister RK Ranjan Singh on fire. Earlier, BJP MLA Vungzagin Valte was severely injured in an attack in the ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur. 

Since May 3, Manipur has been enveloped in ethnic violence between the state's tribal and Meitei communities. The clashes first broke out on May 3 after after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. 

Clashes between mob and security forces

Two civilians were injured as mobs clashed with security forces overnight in Imphal town and attempts were made to torch the houses of BJP leaders, officials told PTI on Saturday.

Earlier on Friday, crowds set up roadblocks and torched properties in the heart of Imphal town on Friday, said officials.

In addition to the house of Union minister RK Ranjan Singh, a warehouse near the royal palace belonging to a retired tribal IAS officer was burnt down completely on Friday. Security guards and firefighters managed to control arson attempts by the mob and save Singh's house from being gutted on Thursday night.

A mob clashed with RAF personnel on Friday evening after it had set the warehouse afire. The group also burnt tyres, logs and waste in the middle of roads in Wangkhei, Porompat and Thangapat areas affecting the flow of traffic in Manipur's capital town, officials said.

In separate incidents, automatic gunfire was reported from Kwakta in Bishnupur district of Manipur and Kangvai in Churachandpur district through the night.

An attempt was also made to loot weapons from Iringbam police station in Imphal West. However, no weapons were stolen.

The Indian Army, Assam Rifles, and Manipur Rapid Action Force (RAF) held joint marches till midnight through the state capital to halt rioters from congregating.

Attempts to burn BJP leaders' houses

A mob of approximately 1,000 people came together to try and burn down buildings near the palace compound. RAF fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

Another mob tried to set the house of Biswajeet, MLA on fire. RAF column, however, dispersed the crowd.

Another mob surrounded the BJP office post midnight at Sinjemai, but could not do any harm as an Army column dispersed it.

Similarly, a crowd tried to vandalise the home of Sharda Devi, BJP (women's wing) president near Porampet in Imphal around midnight. Security forces managed to disperse the youth.

(With PTI inputs)

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