Manipur violence cases: CBI forms 10-member SIT under DIG-rank officer
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has formed a 10-member special investigation team (SIT) under a DIG-rank officer to probe six cases related to the Manipur violence referred to it by the State government. CBI had dispatched Joint Director Ghanshyam Upadhyay to coordinate with the State officials, and upon his return, the SIT was constituted. The agency re-registered the six cases and the Special Crime Branch, Kolkata will probe the cases, Officials said on Friday.
“The CBI has today registered six cases transferred by the state of Manipur pertaining to large-scale violence leading to destruction and looting of the properties arson, looting/snatching of arms/ ammunition and loss of human lives, etc. In various districts of the state,” an agency spokesperson said. He said the SIT has been constituted for a “thorough probe” in the cases and to unearth the criminal conspiracy behind the unfortunate incidents.
Meanwhile, security forces recovered 57 arms, 1,588 ammunition and 23 bombs from Imphal East, Kakching, Tengnoupal and Bishnupur districts of Manipur during the last 24 hours. A total of 953 arms, 13,351 ammunition and 223 bombs of different kinds have been recovered till date.
During his visit to the northeastern state, Home Minister Amit Shah announced a CBI probe into six FIRs — five on alleged criminal conspiracy and one on general conspiracy behind the violence in Manipur. Violence broke out in the northeastern state after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community‘s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. So far, nearly 100 people have lost their lives, and over 300 have been injured ever since the ethnic violence broke out over a month ago.
The clashes were preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations. Meiteis account for about 53 percent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals — Nagas and Kukis — constitute another 40 percent of the population and reside in the hill districts. Around 10,000 Army and Assam Rifles personnel have been deployed in the state to maintain peace.
CBI has registered six cases in connection with and created a special investigation team (SIT) to probe ethnic violence in Manipur that has so far claimed nearly 100 lives. There was fresh violence in the State on Friday also with reports of three killed by suspected insurgents in the Khoken village, which lies between Kangpokpi and the Imphal West district.
According to police sources, the attackers were in Army fatigues, and drove vehicles that looked similar to those used by the military. They went to the village and fired on villagers, according to reports. On May 3, massive rally was organised by the All Tribals Students Union (ATSU) to oppose the Metei’s demand for a Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. Shah asked for 15 days of peace in the state so that he could form a committee to chalk out a permanent political solution for the tribals of Manipur who are demanding a separate administration.
Manipur is divided into the hill and valley areas. The hills comprise 90 percent of the state’s total geographical area and are predominantly inhabited by Naga and Kuki-Chin-Mizo or Zo ethnic tribes. The valley areas are dominated by non-tribals or Meiteis. During his meeting with tribal leaders, Shah promised a CBI probe and a judicial inquiry into this month’s violence. He also assured tribal leaders that there would be no interference of the state in the inquiry.
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