Image Source : PTI A village volunteer stands guard at a bunker set up in conflict-hit Manipur. (Representational image)

Manipur: More than 200 people have been moved to relief camps in Manipur’s Jiribam a day after curfew was clamped in the district after protests over killing of a 59-year-old man by suspected militants, an official said.

Prohibitory orders to impose curfew were issued on Thursday night after locals set a few abandoned structures on fire following the recovery of the body of Soibam Saratkumar Singh, who is suspected to be killed by militants.

Post this incident, the situation is tense in the Jiribam district but calm. On Friday, locals once again demonstrated over the killing of the man.

“There is the likelihood of widespread disturbance to peace and public tranquillity or riot or an affray… because of unlawful activities of anti-social elements,” the official said, citing the orders issued by the Office of District Magistrate Jiribam.

The local administration also prohibited “assembly of five persons or more, which is likely to turn unlawful, carrying of firearms, sticks… and movement of any person outside their respective residences within the revenue jurisdiction of the district”.

Singh went missing after he had gone to his farm on Thursday morning and later, his body was found with wounds made by a sharp object, a police officer said.

Jiribam remains tense

Locals had staged a protest in front of Jiribam Police Station, demanding that their licenced firearms taken from them in the wake of elections be returned to them after the completion of the polls. The administration appealed to the people to maintain peace in the district.

“Jiribam district is facing a difficult time in terms of law and order, public peace and tranquillity”, a notice said, adding that “an appeal is made to all sections of society… to maintain peace and calm and not succumb to any false information”.

The district magistrate also requested the Jiribam superintendent of police to “identify vulnerable pockets and deploy security forces to avoid unwanted incidents”.

A joint control room comprising officials of Assam Rifles, Central Reserve Police Force, Manipur Police and Indian Reserve Battalion has also been set up for quick communication among security forces in the district.

Jiribam, which has a diverse ethnic composition comprising Meiteis, Muslims, Nagas, Kukis and non-Manipuris, had so far remained unaffected by the ethnic strife which has been raging in Manipur since May last year.

The ethnic conflict between Imphal Valley-based Meiteis and hills-based Kukis has led to the deaths of over 200 people and rendered thousands of people homeless.

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