Security personnel have recovered explosives and a “Remote Initiation Mechanism” for improvised explosive devices (IED) in Manipur where soldiers continue patrolling areas affected by ethnic clashes, the army said on Thursday.
The Assam Riffles have also cleared roadblocks set up by various organisations on National Highway 37 and escorted truck columns carrying essential supplies to Imphal Valley.
“Indian Army Patrol operating along foothills of Imphal East district recovered explosives and Remote Initiation Mechanism for IEDs in Village Bungbal Khullen on Wednesday. Three kilograms of TNT, 15 electric detonators, four circuits and remote firing devices have also been found,” the Spear Corps of the Army said.
A major threat was averted by prompt action, the force said.
“Area Domination and offering solace and medical assistance to people are being undertaken by multiple long duration patrols day and night by the Army and Assam Rifles columns. These patrols aptly serve as a conduit for communicating problems faced and ensuring early redressal,” the Spear Corps said.
Meanwhile, the movement of trucks carrying essential commodities such as rice, sugar and pulses to Imphal Valley has resumed.
The movement stopped due to roadblocks and fear among transporters after clashes broke out in Manipur 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.
Following this, the stock of essential supplies in the state started dwindling and was beginning to reach critical levels.
Army and Assam Rifles stepped in to assure protection to vehicles carrying essential goods from/to Imphal, a Defence spokesperson said.
On May 15, a convoy of 28 vehicles including trucks, fuel tankers, and earthmovers moved under the escort of CRPF and Manipur Police from Noney to Imphal.
Prophylactic domination of the area was provided by Assam Rifles to ensure safe passage to the convoy which reached Imphal safely by afternoon. In addition, monitoring was also ensured through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
Around 100 vehicles were moved on May 16 and 17.
Security Forces are committed to restore normalcy and the commencement of movement of the vehicles on NH 37 is another step towards normalcy in Manipur, the Defence Spokesperson said.
Clashes broke out in Manipur 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.
The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.
The ethnic clashes claimed over 70 lives and some 10,000 army and para-military personnel had to be deployed to bring back normalcy in the northeastern state.