Maktoob impact: All commandos removed from Muslim village in Manipur caught in crossfire, BSF takes control

A mosque on the front line of Manipur’s ethnic conflict was forcibly turned into a bunker by Meitei armed groups with police commandos, drawing the gunfight to a village of thousands of Meitei Pangal Muslims. Photo: Shaheen Abdulla/Maktoob

Maktoob can confirm that BSF (Border Security Force) has taken charge in ward No. 8 of Kwakta Municipality, a buffer zone in the conflict-torn Manipur state, where a mosque was turned into a bunker, leaving thousands of civilians in the crossfire between Manipur’s fighting ethnic groups.

Maktoob has been informed that their report helped in assessing the situation by high-level authorities. On Tuesday, Maktoob published a video report on how state police commandos, along with Meitei fighters, had occupied a mosque in the village called Islamabad, drawing resentment from Meitei Pangal Muslims.

All the commandos have been removed from the area, and both fighting parties have agreed to stop fighting in the civilian-populated region. After induction of BSF this is believed to deescalate the recent flare-up in the ongoing ethnic conflict since May 03.

Pangal Muslim leaders also conveyed their gratitude to Maktoob for reporting on the issue, not been covered by the Manipur press.

Meanwhile, Manipur Police have registered a criminal case against the Assam Rifles, a paramilitary force, for “obstruction of duty” and “criminal intimidation” after state police commandos were stopped from entering Kuki village after three Meiteis were killed on 05 August in Kwakta, a town in the buffer zone.

“On reaching the Kutub Wali Masjid located at Kwakta Ward No. 8 along Pholjang road the state police teams, including CDO/BPR was stopped and blocked their way by the personnel of 9th AR by keeping and parking their Casper Vehicle in the middle of the Kwakta Pholjang road and obstructed in discharging their law bound duty. As such arrogant act of the personnel of 9th AR giving a chance to the accused Kuki militants to escape freely to somewhere a safe zone for them,” reads the statement that states an FIR is registered against Assam Rifles.