Manipur CM takes firm stand: Road blockades must cease, Stolen arms must be handed over

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Imphal, May 31, 2023, IANS

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has issued a strong plea to the citizens, urging them to refrain from obstructing roads and to promptly return any looted weapons to the nearest security posts. 

He warned that the government would take stringent action in accordance with the law against those who fail to comply.

Singh expressed concern over the increasing number of instances where people were violating curfew restrictions and obstructing roads, which created significant hindrances in the transportation of relief materials to the inmates residing in relief camps.

These roadblocks not only impeded the movement of essential supplies but also posed challenges for security personnel responsible for addressing security threats arising from illegal armed groups operating in conflict-ridden areas, particularly in the foothills and interior regions of the state.

The Chief Minister emphasized that such roadblocks were exacerbating the difficulties faced by the already traumatized individuals in relief camps, including pregnant women and young children.

These blockades disrupted the movement of healthcare professionals, medicines, food, milk, and water intended for the welfare of the affected individuals.

In an effort to preserve lives and protect the property of innocent civilians, Singh appealed to the people of Manipur to desist from causing roadblocks and other obstacles that impede the free movement of security personnel and relief supplies.

Furthermore, Singh urged all individuals involved to promptly return and surrender any arms and ammunition that may have been snatched from armed police battalions.

He instructed them to deposit the weapons at the nearest police stations without delay. 

The Chief Minister warned saying that legal action, as prescribed by the Arms Act of 1959, would be taken against anyone found to be in unauthorized possession of firearms and ammunition during combing operations conducted by security personnel or through other means.

The appeal by the Manipur Chief Minister comes amidst the ongoing ethnic violence which is posing a serious threat in maintaining law and order, as well as providing assistance to those affected by the conflict. (Edited)