The Indian Army has pleaded with the public to aid in its efforts to end the bloodshed in Manipur and bring about peace and normalcy.
Late last night, the Army said that female protestors had purposefully blocked roads and interfered with security forces’ activities in the northeastern area.
In one such case, the Army had to release 12 insurgents to spare the lives of civilians last week during a confrontation in Manipur’s Itham village after being surrounded by a women-led mob of 1,200 people.
A thoughtful decision was made to turn over all 12 cadres to the local leader, the statement stated. “Keeping in view the sensitivity of the use of kinetic force against a large angry mob led by women and likely casualties due to such action,” it said.
All day Saturday, the Army and crowd were engaged in a stalemate. The Army column was surrounded by a mob that was predominantly made up of women, which hindered the operation from moving further.
After numerous unsuccessful attempts to persuade the hostile mob to allow security forces to complete their operation, the Army decided to release the 12 members of the militant group Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL).
According to the Army, the gang was involved in a number of attacks, including the 2015 ambush of a 6 Dogra unit.
Self-described Lt Col Moirangthem Tamba alias Uttam, a wanted terrorist who may have been responsible for the tragic Dogra ambush, was among those hiding out in the area.
In Manipur’s fight against societal problems including drug usage and domestic violence, women’s vigilante organisations have also played a key role. However, they have also engaged in combat with government forces and organised demonstrations against alleged abuses by security forces in earlier battles.
The lack of confidence between these groups and the security forces has led to significant protests in Manipur in 2004.