Security forces in Manipur recover 790 looted sophisticated arms

by IANS |

Imphal, June 5 (IANS) Security forces in Manipur have recovered 790 sophisticated and automatic arms and 10,648 ammunition that were looted from the police and various other establishments during the ethnic riots that broke out on May 3, an official said on Monday.

Meanwhile, there are reports of several incidents of violence in the last 24 hours in different districts of Manipur but official confirmations are yet to be received.

Media reports said that at least three people were burnt alive or beaten to death by a mob in Imphal West District.

The victims were travelling in two vehicles when the incident occurred at Lamsang on Sunday night.

A state government official in Imphal said that the Army, Assam Rifles along with Manipur Police commando and other Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), including Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force and Indo-Tibetan Border Police, have continued their search operation to recover the looted arms and to nab the militants.

Defence sources said that as part of a joint strategy for recovery of snatched weapons, the ongoing operations are significant for restoring peace and would continue in a calibrated manner.

"The search operations are being conducted under the surveillance cover of drones and quad-copters. The operations have so far resulted in recovery of large numbers of weapons (mostly automatic), mortars, ammunition and other warlike stores," the defence spokesperson said.

He said that while conducting these operations, adequate measures were undertaken to ensure that the locals were not harassed and personnel safety and security is maintained.

Following the directions from Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the security forces have once again appealed to all those in possession of looted weapons to surrender the same at the earliest to ensure peace and stability in Manipur.

Security forces also warned that failure to surrender these weapons would make all such people liable for strict legal action.

Shah, on the last day of his four-day visit to the violence-hit state on June 1, requested all concerned to surrender their weapons to the security forces and administration, otherwise strict legal action would be taken against those who possess arms and ammunition.

Media reports claimed that thousands of different types of arms and large quantities of ammunition were looted by the miscreants and the agitated mob from many police stations and security camps after the riots broke out.

Officials said that currently, around 37,450 people from different communities are being sheltered in 272 relief camps, including community halls, in 13 districts.

Officials said that curfew was relaxed for 7-12 hours in most of the districts, including Imphal West and Imphal East districts.

Tamenglong, Noney, Senapati, Ukhrul, and Kamjong districts are not under curfew, currently.

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