Imphal: A drop box for returning weapons snatched from security forces has been set up at the home of BJP legislator from Imphal East L Susindro Meitei where “anonymity will be ensured”.
A large poster at a covered shed outside his home says “Please drop your snatched weapons here” both in English and Meitei language.
A tagline below this adds “feel free to do so”, an indication that questions will not be asked about how the weapons were in their possession in the first place.
A few weapons, including a couple of automatic rifles and live ammunition belts, were actually present in the box when a PTI reporter went there.
Large numbers of weapons were looted from police stations in early May when ethnic violence broke out in the state of Manipur.
Since then, both Chief Minister N Biren Singh and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have appealed to people to surrender their weapons.
Army and paramilitary forces in collaboration with state police have been carrying out combing operations to defang communities and bring back peace here.
At least 35 weapons and warlike stores were recovered during joint combing operations by security forces on Friday, an official said.
At least 100 people lost their lives and 310 others were injured in the ethnic violence in Manipur that broke out a month ago.
A total of 37,450 people are currently sheltered in 272 relief camps. Clashes first broke out on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley.
Tribals Nagas and Kukis constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.