Imphal, May 15: To restore complete peace in Manipur, the Army has undertaken multi-pronged strategies including maintaining the highest vigil along the state’s 400 km unfenced border with Myanmar.
Defence sources said that over 7,000 Army and Assam Rifles soldiers, including women personnel, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and other modern gadgets have been relentlessly engaged in area domination to ensure early restoration of complete normalcy in Manipur, which was devastated by the ethnic violence since May 3.
The sources said that Army authorities, in consultation with the state government and all stakeholders, has worked out fresh and elaborate security measures to address the fears of people of all communities, especially those staying in fringe vulnerable areas outside capital city Imphal.
“Stringent measures and inter alia a robust multi-agency intelligence grid is in place to ensure continuance of ‘hard earned’ peace in Manipur. Long duration patrols, appropriately equipped and grouped with riflewomen of Assam Rifles, were sent to fringe vulnerable areas identified in consultation with the state government in the past 72 hours,” a defence spokesman said.
The Army’s area domination patrols visited villages across communities, interacted with locals, women and influencers, not only to reassure them of their safety but also to provide the much-needed succour, he said.
“Rendering medical assistance ‘in situ’ by para-medics including undertaking prophylactic medical evacuation were some amongst many activities that were undertaken by these patrols.”
Fringe incidents of violence were immediately responded to by security forces and brought under control, the spokesman said adding that while locals across communities have expressed their yearning for lasting peace, four other measures, in particular, are in place to thwart any misadventure attempt by inimical elements.
The measures include, day and night area domination patrolling, surveillance over designated flash points, engagement with civil society organisations of all communities across Manipur, employment of quadcopters, tracker dogs and UAVs.
The spokesman said that domination of the India-Myanmar border is also being effectively undertaken to deter any misadventure from insurgent groups.
“Round the clock vigil through domination patrols, employment of UAVs, quadcopters and tracker dogs have significantly contributed towards deterring various insurgent groups in taking advantage of the prevailing situation,” he said.
The Indian Army also appeals to all sections of the population of Manipur to support the efforts of security forces in sustaining the hard earned peace and promoting harmony and quell any attempt to spread hate, misinformation being directed either towards them or spreading hatred towards each other in general.
Claiming the lives of around 70 people and injuring a few hundred, ethnic violence, clashes, rampant arsoning, indiscriminate vandalisation, random destruction of government and private properties broke out in Manipur after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ organised in the 10 hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
The violence was preceded by tension and protests over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land and destruction of poppy cultivation, which had led to a series of agitations at the local level.
A top Manipur government official said that the Indian authorities have been erecting barbed wire fencing along the around 400 km India-Myanmar border in Manipur to curb smuggling, trans-border movement of militants, infiltration and other border crimes.
Governor Anusuiya Uikey recently inspected border fencing in Moreh, 110 km south of Imphal.