India: Manipur Remains on Edge Despite Curfew

    India: Manipur Remains on Edge Despite Curfew
    Last updated Sep 29, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • On Thursday, at least ten people were injured in clashes between security officials and protesters in India's strife-hit northeastern state of Manipur.
    • According to reports, security forces used tear gas on a crowd of about 500 people attempting to storm the Chief Minister's ancestral residence in Imphal despite the imposition of a curfew.
    • This comes a day after over 80 students were injured in clashes with police as protests flared up after the bodies of two students of the Meitei community, who went missing in July, were found this week.
    • Meanwhile, the state government has extended the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act for another six months, starting Oct. 1, with Manipur being characterized as a "Disturbed Area." However, 19 police stations in seven districts, including Imphal, will remain out of its purview.
    • Furthermore, internet mobile services — recently restored after a nearly four-month ban — have been suspended again until Sunday evening (local time) to reportedly prevent the spread of misinformation and rumors across the state.
    • Since the violence broke out in early May between the once-coexisting communities of Meitei and Kuki in Manipur, at least 200 people have been killed, and 70K are left displaced.


    Narrative A

    Draconian measures alone can't solve the socio-political crisis that the violence-hit Manipur has been facing, especially because such moves would only fuel questions about law enforcement in the state. The fact that the Imphal Valley — which accounts for most killings — was exempted from the "Disturbed Area" status indicates that even authorities know that unfettered powers will not work.

    Narrative B

    As violence persists in Manipur, armed forces must be called to help civil administration fight against extremist and insurgent groups planning to carry out violent activities. That's precisely why some parts of the state have been declared a Disturbed Area for yet another six months despite the sensitivity of that decision.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 90% chance that the right-wing incumbent BJP will win the 2024 national election in India, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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