A group of armed attackers on Wednesday set on fire at least 30 abandoned houses and shops in Manipur’s Moreh town, along Myanmar border, and the security forces immediately rushed to the areas and dispersed them, officials said.
Officials said that when the security forces reached in the areas under Tengnoupal district, the armed attackers opened fire on the paramilitary troopers, who retaliated, forcing them to flee.
Search operation was on to nab the attackers.
In view of the ethnic violence, most people abandoned their houses and shops in Moreh, a border town, 110 km south of Manipur capital Imphal and just four km west of Myanmar’s biggest border town Tamu in Sagaing region.
The arson incident occurred a day after two empty buses used by security forces to transport personnel were burnt by a mob in Kangpokpi district when the buses were coming from Dimapur (Nagaland) on Tuesday evening. No casualty was reported.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister N Biren Singh said construction of temporary houses at Sajiwa in Imphal and Yaithibi Loukol in Thoubal district is nearing completion.
“In our concerted effort towards rehabilitating the people displaced by the recent violence, the construction of temporary houses at Sajiwa and Yaithibi Loukol are nearing completion. Very soon, families from the relief camps will be able to move into these homes. The State Government is taking up all possible measures to rehabilitate the people affected by the recent violence, both in the hills and the valley,” he tweeted.
Singh earlier said that his government would construct around 4,000 pre-fabricated houses to accommodate people who had been displaced from their houses due to the ethnic violence in Manipur since May 3. Over 160 people of different communities were killed, over 600 injured and a large-scale destruction of properties and houses have been done in the ethnic strife between the non-tribal Meitei and the tribals Kuki community people.
The violence erupted on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.