Manipur’s violence-hit Churachandpur returning to normalcy
After witnessing violence for two consecutive days, Manipur’s Churachandpur district on April 30 showed signs of returning to normalcy after additional security forces sent from other parts of the State were withdrawn on the previous evening.
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 km 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The additional security forces sent from outside, however, were withdrawn on Saturday evening following a meeting between the government and representatives of civil society organisations and student bodies, officials said.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.
A night curfew has been imposed in the district from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. 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.
Unidentified miscreants set fire to forest department building on Saturday.
Clashes broke out between demonstrators and police personnel at various places in Churachandpur town on Friday, with the security forces using batons, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the mob.
Even the venue of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s function was torched on Friday. He had, however, deferred the programme.