The Manipur government on Thursday issued a “shoot at sight” order in “extreme cases” to quell the escalating violence between the Meitei community and tribals in the state, which has led to the displacement of over 9,000 people from their villages.
The order, issued on behalf of the governor, stated that “shoot at sight” could be resorted to when persuasion, warning and reasonable force “have been exhausted and the situation could not be controlled”.
The Manipur government has ordered all District Magistrates, Sub-Divisional Magistrates and all Executive Magistrates/ Special Executive Magistrates to give shoot-at-sight orders in outrageous cases by which all types of influence, advance notice, and sensible power had been depleted to control the law and order situations.
The notification, which was signed by the state government’s commissioner (home), was issued under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code 1973. Widespread rioting broke out across Manipur, leading to the deployment of fifty-five columns of the Army and Assam Rifles to contain the situation.
The Army also kept fourteen columns on standby to deploy in case the situation worsened, according to a defence spokesperson. The Central government, which is monitoring the situation in Manipur, dispatched teams of the Rapid Action Force, a specialized force to handle riots, to violence-affected areas of the Northeastern state.
Rival communities engaged in conflicts on Wednesday following earlier attacks, with counter-assaults intensifying in retaliation. This came after Naga and Kuki tribals organized a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ in protest of moves to grant scheduled tribe status to the larger Meitei community.
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