In a shocking turn of events, a mob stormed the residence of Union Minister of State for External Affairs, RK Ranjan Singh, in Imphal’s Kongba area, setting it ablaze with petrol bombs late on Thursday night. The incident occurred amidst ongoing ethnic violence in the region, although the minister and his family were fortunately not present at the time.
RK Ranjan Singh, who was in Kerala for official duties, expressed his relief that no injuries were reported during the attack on his Imphal home. Speaking to news agency ANI, he stated, “The miscreants came with petrol bombs, and damage has been done to the ground floor and first floor of my home. It is very sad to see what is happening in my home state. I will still continue to appeal for peace. Those indulging in this kind of violence are absolutely inhuman.”
The incident took place as clashes erupted between protesters and security personnel in Imphal, resulting in the burning of two houses. This violence followed the deadliest escalation of clashes in the state, which resulted in the gunning down of nine people and injuring ten others.
In response to the growing unrest, Chief Minister N Biren Singh assured the public that the government is actively engaging in discussions at multiple levels and will take action against those responsible for the violence. During a press conference, Singh stated, “As per our commitment, we are contacting everyone, we are discussing at various levels. The governor has also constituted a peace committee, and consultation with peace committee members will start. I hope that with the support of the people of the state, we will achieve peace at the earliest.”
While acknowledging that an immediate improvement in the situation may be challenging, the Chief Minister noted a reduction in the number of violent incidents occurring in the state. Singh further reassured the public that the culprits behind the recent violence would be identified and brought to justice, stating, “The combing operation has started to find out the culprits. I assure the people of the state; we will definitely book the culprits as per the law of the land.”
The state of Manipur has been marred by violence since early May, stemming from clashes during a rally organized by the All Tribals Students Union (ATSU) against the demand for including the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe category. The Manipur High Court had instructed the state government to consider the inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribes (STs) list, which further fueled tensions.
To address the escalating violence, Home Minister Amit Shah visited Manipur for four days at the end of May and announced a series of measures aimed at restoring peace in the state. However, the situation remains tense, leading the state government to extend the internet ban in Manipur until June 15.
As authorities continue their investigations and work towards resolving the underlying issues, it is crucial for all stakeholders to come together and find a peaceful resolution that ensures the safety and well-being of the people of Manipur.
Sources by Agencies