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Those Engaged In Violence Will Be Responsible If Afspa Is Reimposed : Manipur CM

"Elements who continuously engage in violence should be held accountable if the government takes any stringent action, including reimposition of the unwanted AFSPA  ... I am highly upset (sic). The government cannot watch all these forever," N Biren Singh said.

Manipur CM N Biren Singh
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Chief Minister N Biren Singh Tuesday said that he is "highly upset" with the ongoing violence in Manipur and elements who engage in it will be held responsible for any stringent government action, including the reimposition of AFSPA.

"Whatever is going on in the society now is too much. The government will find it really hard to tolerate if anyone or any group keeps on taking the law into their own hands. The central government will not keep on looking. If AFSPA is again reimposed, they will be held responsible," he said after visiting those injured in a firing incident at Lilong Chingjao area in Manipur's Thoubal district.

"Elements who continuously engage in violence should be held accountable if the government takes any stringent action, including reimposition of the unwanted AFSPA  ... I am highly upset (sic). The government cannot watch all these forever," he said.

AFSPA was extended for six months in the hill areas of the north eastern state for six months since October last year and 19 police station areas Imphal valley area and an area that shares its boundary with neighbouring Assam were kept outside its purview despite the violent ethnic conflict that broke out in May.

The chief minister asked the people not to take the law into their hands and to inform the authorities concerned if they find anything suspicious so that the necessary legal actions are taken. He also asked them to identify the "enemies of Manipur" and face them unitedly rather than engage in internal clashes.

Singh visited the injured at Raj Medicity, a private hospital here. Four persons received bullet wounds in the firing and two of them who were injured critically firing are being treated in the ICU of the hospital.

Four villagers were gunned down by cadres of the Revolutionary People's Front (RPF), the political wing of the banned People's Liberation Army (PLA) in  minority-dominated Lilong Chingjao on Monday. Ten others were injured in the incident and are currently undergoing treatment.

The incident was seen as the fallout of a dispute over money collected through illegal drug trade, officials said. After the attack, enraged locals set fire to four vehicles in which the attackers had arrived.

Following the violence, curfew was imposed in Thoubal, Imphal East and Imphal West, Kakching and Bishnupur districts.

The RPF owned responsibility for the shooting, which took place when some of its members went to the house of one person in the area who has several narcotics cases pending against him. Within minutes, around 1,000 people gathered outside the residence of the suspected narcotic dealer and chased them away.

The RPF cadres then opened fire on the locals, killing four and injuring ten others.

Both PLA and RPF are banned under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

After his visit, Singh posted on X, "We strongly condemn all forms of violence, and the state government has launched mass combing operations to nab the culprits and the culprit will be punished according to the law. No one is above the law."

The chief minister visited the families of the deceased. "We stand united as a community and our government is committed to ensuring swift and thorough investigations to bring those responsible to justice," he posted on X.

In another incident which also took place on Monday at Moreh town of Tengnoupal district four police personnel and a Border Security Force constable were injured during a gunfight between militants and security personnel on Monday. They were airlifted to the state capital for better treatment, an official said.

Moreh, which is near the India-Myanmar border has been witnessing gunfights between security forces and militants since December 30 last year.

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