Manipur: The people attack the house of the prime minister. The failure of the old Indian State continues

Featured image: protesters trying to assault the house of the Prime Minister of Manipur, N Biren Singh, clashing with anti-riot police in Imphal. Source: Rediff.

During the month of September, the Manipur police made a report and gave specific figures on the situation in this territory: since the beginning of the riots in May, 175 people had been killed, 1,118 had been injured, 33 were still missing, 96 bodies remain unclaimed, 5,172 arson had occurred, and 5,668 weapons and tens of thousands of ammunition had been looted. All this taking into account that the official figures are always lower than what actually happens. With all this, the situation in Manipur remains out of control for the old Indian State and during this past month the fighting has continued. We have reported on this earlier.

The struggle in this year 2023 has become especially problematic for the Indian and Manipur ruling classes. This is shown by studies that show a huge increase in casualties caused by organized insurgency in Manipur, compared to several previous years. There is no another attempt at rebellion or sporadic or spontaneous violence, as there has been for many years ago. But the spontaneous revolt has become a real problem for the old Indian State. These studies also show that the solutions that the Indian State tries to provide are useless, since the problem has not stopped growing since it began last May.

Graphic which shows the increase of casualties caused by the organized insurgency in Manipur. Source: The Print.

The Indian State meanwhile continues increasing its military personnel in Manipur: at the end of September another 400 soldiers were incorporated into the region. The Prime Minister of Manipur, N Biren Singh also called for the arrival of more troops after thousands of protesters attacked his residence and tried to storm it, with the crowd dispersed by riot police, leaving ten injured. In early September, another 2,000 troops from Jammu and Kashmir were deployed to Manipur.

Despite the huge military deployment, the people of Manipur continue to put the Indian State in check: between 18th and 20th of September there were large roadblocks, led by women in many cases, demanding the release of prisoners. Another event that has become relatively common these weeks has been the assaults against police posts or stations. On 21st September, a large number of protesters, mainly women, attempted to storm nearly a dozen of police stations, demanding the release of five young prisoners.

Group of protesters trying to assault a police station. Source: Deccan Herald.

On Wednesday 27th of September there were heavy clashes in the Imphal Valley with more than 60 people injured, including several police officers. The crowd tried to set fire to the BJP headquarters in Thoubal, threw Molotov cocktails at police surveillance posts and even used catapults to throw stones with more strength at their targets. Eventually there were clashes with the police, in which the people were armed with steel sticks to defend themselves.

In recent days to all this has been added a general strike that has paralyzed large areas of Manipur from Monday 2nd of October to Wednesday 4th of October, in protest against the arrest of seven people, including two children, by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

There is a lack of control despite the increase in military personnel being deployed by the old Indian State. The people of Manipur are also redirecting their efforts against the repressive forces, who detain young people in the area, and frequently are commiting abuses against the population. Therefore, the situation in Manipur has long ceased to be a revolt or a spontaneous uprising, and has become a harsh struggle that is generating a serious problem for the Indian ruling classes.

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