Imphal: Responding to the escalating attacks by Kuki militants in Meitei-inhabited areas of Manipur, particularly the relentless assaults on the state police commando in the Indo-Myanmar border town Moreh, women of Khwairamand took to the streets, here, demanding immediate action to address the inadequacy in handling the security crisis.
The protesters demanded the removal of the current chairman of the Unified Command, Kuldiep Singh and be replaced by a new chairman with a profound understanding of the ground reality. They called for the removal of the governor, alleging inaction on the escalating violence in Manipur, and criticised the Assam Rifles for being biased and appearing as mere spectators during Kuki militants attacks.
The demonstration, which began in Khwairamband Keithel, saw protestors marching towards the chief minister’s bungalow and Raj Bhawan. Security personnel defended before reaching Raj Bhawan.
Attempts to break through the security human barricade resulted in security personnel firing tear gas shells to disperse the protestors. The protestors did not withdraw. No casualties were reported. A group of demonstrators’ representatives was permitted to meet with security advisor Kuldiep Singh at the chief minister’s secretariat.
Later, Ashem Nirmala, a women leader of Khwairamand Keithel, told reporters that the state forces are allegedly restricted from fully executing their duties to maintain law and order. Nirmala accused the Assam Rifles of siding Kuki militants. “Manipur no longer needs the presence of Assam Rifles, remove them.”
During the meeting with the security advisor, Nirmala said they urged Kuldiep Singh to resign from his post for the total collapse of the security arrangement in Manipur. The women leaders emphasised the necessity of CM Biren to assume the role of chairman.
Nirmala said Kuldiep told them that he was appointed by the chief minister as the chairman. However, he conveyed that he would apprise the matter to the chief minister for necessary action and also for the removal of the Assam Rifles from Manipur, she added.