Manipur: Women Village Volunteers Prevent Army From Taking Away Seized Arms & Ammunition - Eastern Mirror
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Manipur: Women village volunteers prevent Army from taking away seized arms & ammunition

By IANS Updated: Apr 30, 2024 11:39 pm
Photo: IANS

IMPHAL — A large number of women part of ‘Meira Paibis’, a women’s social movement in Manipur, on Tuesday demanded the release of 11 armed cadres dressed in police uniform and blocked the Army from taking away arms and ammunition which were seized in Bishnupur district, officials said.

The armed cadres were ‘village volunteers’ (local armed civilians) belonging to a particular community who were carrying arms and ammunition seized by the Army.

Officials said that during patrolling in the Kumbi area under Bishnupur district, soldiers from the Army’s Mahar regiment intercepted two SUVs and arrested 11 village volunteers travelling in them.

When the soldiers took the arms and ammunition into their custody along with the detainees, a large number of women part of the ‘Meira Paibis’, who are vigilantes of the Meitei community, gathered at the spot and asked the Armymen to hand over the seized weapons and release the 11 detainees.

The women claimed that the arms and ammunition belonged to the village volunteers, who, according to the women, are protecting the villagers from attacks by the militants and village volunteers from the rival communities.

Hundreds of Meira Paibis members blocked the road and prevented the Army convoy from leaving the spot, forcing the soldiers to fire several rounds in the air to disperse the mob, but that could bring the situation under control.

Subsequently, a huge contingent of Manipur police personnel led by senior police officers reached the spot, and after a long discussion with the agitating women, the arms and ammunition were taken away by the police.

A police statement issued on Tuesday night said that they were informed by the Army that 11 detainees were taken away by the agitating women during an aggressive confrontation despite their best efforts.

“Displaying dogged determination and intent, teams of both Manipur Police and the Indian Army were successful in breaking through a number of obstacles put up by the hostile mob and reaching the Kumbi police station. The seized weapons are kept in safe custody now.

“The mob was later dispersed and the situation was brought under control. Necessary legal action is being taken,” the statement said.

The seized arms and ammunition include three AK series rifles with seven magazines and 210 bullets, five INSAS rifles with 13 magazines and 260 bullets, two self-loading rifles along with nine magazines and 180 bullets, two hand grenades, and bulletproof jackets.

Several village volunteer groups are there in Manipur belonging to both Meiteis and the tribal Kuki-Zomi communities which possess sophisticated arms and ammunition.

The security forces regularly recover arms and ammunition from them and destroy the bunkers set up by the village volunteer groups.

By IANS Updated: Apr 30, 2024 11:39:53 pm
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