Militants torch police outpost, set several houses on fire in Manipur's Jiribam district

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Imphal, Jun 8 (PTI) Suspected militants torched a police outpost and set several houses on fire in Manipur's Jiribam district on Saturday, officials said.

The militants torched the Jiri police outpost located in Chotobekra area on the banks of the Barak river at around 12.30 am, they said.

The gunmen suspected to be hill-based militants also launched multiple attacks taking advantage of the darkness at Lamtai khunou, Modhupur area of the district located nearly 220 km from the state capital Imphal.

Several houses have been burnt, mostly in the outlying areas of Jiribam district though the exact number cannot be confirmed, a district official based in Jiribam told PTI.

A commando contingent of Manipur Police has been airlifted to Jiribam on Saturday morning from Imphal to assist in the security operations against the militants, police said.

Meanwhile, newly elected Congress MP from the Inner Manipur Lok Sabha seat Angomcha Bimol Akoijam has urged the state government to protect the lives and properties of the people of Jiribam district.

Akoijam told reporters at a press conference here that, "I have talked with district officials of Jiribam. They said some reinforcements have reached. While those in the town are being provided security, those in peripheral areas are not being provided security." Nearly 239 people mostly women and children have been evacuated from their villages in the Jiribam district and are taking shelter at the sports complex in Jiri town after violence broke out following the killing of a man allegedly by militants, officials said Saturday.

On June 6, the Jiribam district administration had clamped an indefinite curfew in the district following the killing of a 59-year-old man belonging to one communtiy allegedly by militants belonging to another community.

The killing triggered fresh ethnic flare-up in the district which had remained unaffected by the violence.

Jiribam, which has a diverse ethnic composition comprising Meiteis, Muslims, Nagas, Kukis and non-Manipuris, had so far remained unaffected by the ethnic strife which has been raging in Manipur since May last year.

The ethnic conflict between Imphal Valley-based Meiteis and hills-based Kukis has led to the deaths of over 200 people and rendered thousands of people homeless. PTI COR RG

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