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Manipur: Churachandpur Returning To Normalcy After 2 Days Of Violence

Additional security forces sent from other parts of the state were withdrawn on Saturday evening amid signs of a return to normalcy.

Mob vandalised and set on fire the event venue of Manipur CM Biren Singh
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After two days of violence, Manipur's Churachandpur showed signs of returning to normalcy on Sunday. 

First, the venue where Chief Minister N Biren Singh was scheduled to attend an event was attacked on Thursday and then arson and further clashes took place on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday. 

Additional security forces sent from other parts of the state were withdrawn on Saturday evening amid signs of a return to normalcy. 

Following repeated acts of violence, internet was suspended in the area and prohibitory orders were issued.

Signs of normalcy in Churachandpur

Shops and markets have been opened in the morning while vehicles run on the roads in Churachandpur town where the maximum protests and violence took place on Friday and Saturday, officials said.

People were also seen going to churches as there were no signs of protests on the streets.

Local people were also seen helping the authorities clear the roads which were full of stones, tree trunks and other barricades put up to restrict the movement of traffic during the agitation.

The protests were against a drive to evict villagers from reserve forest areas, which turned violent on Friday and Saturday, prompting the authorities to bring additional security forces from other parts of the state, mainly state capital Imphal which is around 60 kilometres away.

The additional security forces sent from outside, however, were withdrawn on Saturday evening following a meeting between the government and representatives of civil society organisations and student bodies, officials said. 

These forces faced the ire of the protestors.

Night curfew has been imposed in the district from 5 pm to 5 am from Saturday until further orders, according to an official notification. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC and suspension of mobile internet services will also continue in the district, the officials said. 

Two consecutive days of violence

A mob on Thursday attacked the venue where Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh was scheduled to attend an event and set it on fire.

Following Thursday's violence, Singh cancelled his visit amid 8-hour bandh called by local tribals against eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest areas. 

Protesters clashed with police on Friday. Officials said that police were forced to lob tear gas shells to disperse a large crowd which had gathered and was pelting stones at security forces deployed to keep the peace in the bandh hit town. 

Unidentified miscreants set fire to a government building on Friday and clashed with authorities. 

A group of people torched the office building of the Range Forest Officer in Tuibong area around midnight and several fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames, said officials.

Public property worth lakhs were reportedly destroyed and official documents burnt in the blaze, a police officer said.

Clashes had erupted between demonstrators and police personnel in Churachandpur town on Friday night, with the security forces using batons, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the mob.

(With PTI inputs)

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