India: situation in Manipur overwhelmed the government

Barricades and riots in the federal state of Manipur. Source: NDTV

The conflict continues in Manipur three weeks after the beginning of the revolt after the student’s demonstration of 3rd May. Wednesday 17th May, official sources of police said the situation has improved. However the same day was reported the death of one jawan [Author’s note: police officer] who was injured in a previous ambush, with the official death toll went up to 74 dead people. We have already written about this ambush and another similar facts. In this article we already quoted police and military declarations claiming the situation was controlled since the first week of the revolts.

On Thursday 18th May , according to local media, a patrol of military troops found a considerable amount of explosives in one of their expeditions through delicate areas of the federal state of Manipur. Local media describes the amount: “Three kilograms of TNT, 15 electric detonators, four circuits, and remote firing devices have also been found”. Besides these materials, according to sources of Manipur would be more than 1.000 weapons and 10.000 bullets looted from several police and military facilities. Would been recovered less than a half of these weapons by the government.

On the other hand, the situation also would be critical for the entrance of some materials in Manipur, due to the blockades in highways initiated few weeks ago in the via, NH37, which is fundamental for the transit in the federal state. This blockades are still active and worrying the authorities of the Indian State and of federal state of Manipur. The State is trying to coordinate police, paramilitary and military forces to break this blockade, establishing surveillance for the convoys that are going inside Manipur. Regarding the effects of this blockade in the essential goods, local media explains that “the state of essential supplies began to dwindle and reach critical levels”.

Convoys protected by the army and the police. Source: Devdiscourse.

After this fact, Indian State began a new plan of action in Manipur: “The army has listed out a four-point plan to ensure peace in Manipur. This includes day and night area domination, surveillance over designated ash-points, engagement with civil society organizations of all communities across Manipur and deployment of quad-copters, tracker dogs and UAVs [Author’s note: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/drones].”. Besides the military measures, the ban for access to internet has been protracted two times: the first of them was since the 17th May until 22th May. State home department said that the first extension of the ban was needed “based on reports of continued incidents like fighting amongst volunteers/youths of major communities residing in the state’’. The second time that the ban is being protracted is since 22th May until 26th May. This extension of the ban is due to “reports of arson and attacks”.

With these measures, the government is trying to fix the situation in Manipur, and official sources states the following: “Our aim at the moment is to make the situation such that there are no reports of incidents or rumors generally”. Not just the government of Indian State it’s reinforcing its presence and surveillance in Manipur. Also the bureaucratic bourgeoisie belonging to the Meitei group, asked on the 20th May for a immediate intervention in the conflict in Manipur from Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, with “to use whatever means and resources at his disposal”.

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