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Manipur Violence: Only 30% Looted Weapons Recovered, Massive Combing Ops Set To Begin

In response to the recent riots in Manipur , security forces are gearing up for an extensive combing operation across the state to recover missing weapons and ammunition.

The government has declared its intent to conduct a thorough search operation to retrieve these arms and has warned of severe consequences for those involved in illegal weapons possession.

The Looming Threat
The disappearance of weapons poses a significant concern for both the Union and state governments, as there is a potential risk of these arms finding their way into neighbouring states. Despite repeated calls by authorities, only a fraction of the missing weapons—1,350 to be exact—have been recovered, leaving a substantial cache of ammunition unaccounted for.

Diminishing Hope for Recovery
Recent days have seen minimal progress in the recovery of weapons looted or stolen from Manipur's police stations. Even designated areas for surreptitious weapon returns have yielded no results. This lack of cooperation necessitates large-scale operations.

Strategic Approach
Security forces are taking a meticulous approach to this operation. Intelligence assets have been activated to identify the most critical areas for action. The operation will proceed district by district, ensuring a methodical approach that minimises confusion. Local police will play a pivotal role, helping identify routes and engaging with the community to prevent clashes.

Security forces are anticipating challenges during the operation, including potential confrontations with mobs. Plans are being developed to manage such situations effectively. The operation will encompass both hilly and valley areas, reflecting the wide-ranging search effort.

The state government has emphasised the seriousness of the situation and its commitment to taking stern actions against those who shield or support miscreants involved in the weapon disappearance.

“This is a serious matter and the state government will take strong action against such miscreants/groups in any part of the state,” a statement released by the government conveyed.

State of Emergency Declared
In response to continuous violence, the Manipur government has declared the entire state as a ‘disturbed area’ and extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act ( AFSPA ), with exceptions in 19 police station areas. This move aims to restore peace and security to the region.

Earlier this year, the Union government had removed AFSPA from four police stations in Manipur, signalling a step towards reducing the militarisation of certain areas. However, recent events have necessitated a reevaluation of this decision, leading to its reinstatement in most parts of the state.