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Gorkhas out, Assam Rifles in? Manipur's Bishnupur erupts in protest

The agitation, staged across Leimaram, Waroiching, Irengbam, Keinou, and Ngaikhong Khunou, displays a deep mistrust among locals towards the Assam Rifles. 

News Arena Network - Imphal - UPDATED: May 15, 2024, 03:53 AM - 3 mins read

Meira Paibi activist protesting the replacement of 5/9 Gorkha Regiment by Assam Rifles in Manipur's Bishnupur.

Gorkhas out, Assam Rifles in? Manipur's Bishnupur erupts in protest

Meira Paibi activist protesting the replacement of 5/9 Gorkha Regiment by Assam Rifles in Manipur's Bishnupur.


Bishnupur district in Manipur witnessed a wave of sit-in protests on May 14th. The demonstrations centered around a single demand: the continued deployment of the 5/9 Gorkha Regiment in Leimaram Waroiching, and the rejection of its proposed replacement by the Assam Rifles.

 

The agitation, staged across Leimaram, Waroiching, Irengbam, Keinou, and Ngaikhong Khunou, displays a deep mistrust among locals towards the Assam Rifles. 

 

A vocal Meira Paibi activist, speaking to media persons, bluntly stated the community's apprehension. "We don't believe the AR will protect us from Kuki attacks," she declared.

 

Her accusation stemmed from a perceived lack of action by the Assam Rifles during the initial stages of the ethnic conflict. 

 

She pointed to the targeting of Meetei houses in Torbung, where the AR allegedly turned a blind eye to Kuki militant violence. 

 

This experience, she argued, fostered a sense of vulnerability and a lack of faith in the Assam Rifles' ability to provide security.

 

In contrast, the Meira Paibi activist lauded the 5/9 Gorkha Regiment. Their routine patrols from Leimaram Waroiching to Ngaikhong Khunou were seen as a vital security measure for the Meitei population residing near the foothills.

 

In Irengbam, Makha Maning Leikai, one of the protestors alleged that everyone knows the biased nature showcased by the Assam Rifles during the crisis.

 

“Amid such a situation, the government deciding to replace 5/9 Gorkha Regiment presently deploying at Leimaram Waroiching by Assam Rifles is very unfortunate,” she added. 

 

“There is a video, and photos that how Assam Rifles supported armed miscreants. This force remains as mere spectators when armed miscreants vandalise houses, and loot property. We will feel unsafe if such bias secures personnel deployed to guard the peripheral areas. Until and unless normalcy returns don’t take away 5/9 Gorkha Regiment and replace it with Assam Rifles,” she said.  

 

"The 5/9 Gorkha Regiment presently stationed at Leimaram Waroiching used to carry out daily patrolling from Leimaram Waroiching to Ngaikhong Khunou which made us feel safe all the time," she added.

 

The demand stood clear: "Don't replace the 5/9 Gorkha Regiment with Assam Rifles until normalcy returns." 

 

A Meira Paibi participant in Keinou issued a stern warning. If the government persisted with the replacement, "various forms of agitation" would be launched. 

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