Manipur: Home of Indian minister set on fire

Featured image: Several buildings belonging to the BJP and their members were put on fire in Impala on the 15th of June. Source: NDTV

On the 16th of June the house of the Indian minister, R. K. Ranjan Singh, was set on fire in Imphal, the capital of the federal State of Manipur. Singh is a Junior foreign minister in the Government of Modi and a member of the BJP, the party which controls both the Federal Government of India and the Government of Manipur. According to reports from media, nine youths set fire to the house of the minister. Singh admitted that the situation was out of control after the incident: “I am shocked. The law and order situation in Manipur has totally failed”.

This incident is part of the ongoing struggle in Manipur, which is unfolding between mainly peasants from the Kuki, and the Meitei headed by the big bourgeoisie and supported by the Indian State. The struggle started after the Meitei group were given legal status of tribe, which would enable increasing robbing of land from the peasants. We are following the situation closely and have reported on several clashes, including road blocks and gun fights, and on the failure of the State to control the situation. During the last week several homes of politicians and other buildings have been attacked by the masses. As we have already reported, a group set on fire the residence of a minister of the Government of Manipur on the 14th of June.

On the evening of Friday the 15th of June there were reports of several crowds making burning barricades in the streets and burning down buildings in the middle of Imphal. A group burned down a warehouse belonging to a retired high level bureaucrat and then clashed with the Rapid Action Force (RAF). Around midnight separate groups of people attempted to burn down the house of the Power and Forest Minister, Thongam Biswajit Singh, second-in-command of the Manipur council of Ministry. Another group attacked the house of Sharda Devi, president of the BJP in Manipur, and attempted to burn it down. The head office of the BJP in the Thongju Assembly constituency was set on fire, and a group surrounded another BJP office, but were dispersed by the Army.

Barricades and buildings belonging to politicians and bureaucrats were put on fire in Imphal, Manipur on the 15th of June. Source: Jagran.

There were several clashes between angry masses and the Armed forces of the State during the night. According to a report around a 1000 people tried to burn down buildings in the area around the palace of the Manipur Government.

There was also exchange of fire between armed militants and the forces of the State in several districts of Manipur throughout the night.

Around 30.000 military and paramilitary personnel from the federal government of India are currently deployed in Manipur. Together with the police forces of the State of Manipur, they are fighting against the masses who are struggling for land. Despite all the attempts and measures of the State, like blocking the internet and imposing curfews, the clashes are only growing more intense. More than a 100 people have lost their lives, and even a minister of the federal government of India have admitted their failure at upholding their “law and order”.

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