Manipur: Struggle of the People against Indian State keeps intensifying

Featured image: Barricade in flames in Tiddim, Imphal West. Source: IFP.

The struggle of the people continues in Manipur. During the last weeks the people of Manipur has intensified the number of actions, and specially their intensity. We have reported on this struggle before. There are actions of the masses in many different districts, what shows that it is not a problem in isolated areas of Manipur, but a general intensification of the struggle in the whole State.

Map of the districts which form the State of Manipur. Source: website The Wire

On Monday, 17th of July, in the district of Imphal West, a crowd of people attacked the convoy of a General Inspector of the Police, setting his car ablaze. Hence, an intervention of a group of anti-riot police to disperse the people with tear gas was needed. After the first investigations, dozens of alleged “people involved” in the incident were detained. Due to these detentions, hundreds of women took the streets on Saturday, 22nd of July, and blocked a highway in the same district with barricades of burning tires, demanding the release of the detainees.

On Thursday, 20th of July, a video appeared on social media showing several woman of The Hills being harassed and went viral. Later it became known that one of the woman was also raped. This video was recorded in May, after the beginning of the rebellion in Manipur. After the crime became public, the anger of the masses ran out of controll. The Indian State and the State of Manipur called to calm down and promised immediate measures, and the police investigated several accused people. But it is clear that the people don’t trust anymore in the State, even less do the women, which decided to execute justice by themselves. One day before the appearance of the video, a large group of women burned down the house of one of the rapists. The next day, it was known that another rapist was free, and another group of women attacked his home and set it ablaze.

On the night of the Saturday, 22nd to the 23rd of July, there was a fierce military clash in Torbung, district of Bishnupur. The battle involved rebel guerrillas on one side, and different forces of the Indian State on the other. Specifically the Indian State sent many reinforcements: Assam Rifles (troops of the Ministry of Interior), State police, Border Security Forces (BSF) and common troops of the Indian Army. The guerrillas used many kinds of armament against the repressive forces and even destroyed a heavy armored vehicle of the Assam Rifles. The guerrillas used explosives, mortars, RPGs, shotguns, etc.

Policeman shooting against militants in Torbung, district of Bishnupur. Source: IFP.

Between the 25th and the 26th of July there were new incidents in several districts. On Tuesday 25th masses of Manipur attacked again the Indian State, burning buses used by the BSF to transport troops in the district of Kangpokpi. On Wednesday 26th, masses started riots, burning abandoned houses and shops in the town of Moreh, district of Tengnoupal, and after this they engaged in a shoot-out with soldiers of the Assam Rifles.

While the situation is developing in Manipur, it is becoming more uncontrollable for the Indian State, which despite the huge number of troops deployed and resources used, is unable to stop the attacks of the people. It is clear that masses have decided to apply their own justice, but also attack directly the State and its troops.

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