Manipur CM’s event venue set on fire ahead of his visit

28 April, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma

Venue of an event chief minister N Biren Singh was 1682656952260 National

A mob vandalised and set fire to the venue of Manipur CM N Biren Singh's scheduled event in the state's Churachandpur district on Thursday.

On Thursday, a mob vandalised and set fire to the venue of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s scheduled event in the state’s Churachandpur district. The police said the situation is tense and that they have increased security in the district, which is about 63 kilometres from the state capital of Imphal.

Mr Biren is set to open a gym and sports facility in the district.

Massive crowds were seen breaking chairs and other property at the programme venue where Chief Minister Singh was scheduled to visit on Friday, according to video footage. The mob also vandalised and set fire to the newly built gym’s sports equipment.

The district administration has yet to confirm whether or not the Chief Minister’s programme was cancelled as a result of the violence.

The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum allegedly led the mob violence in protest of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government’s survey of reserved and protected forest areas, as well as the state’s wetlands. The state government has been accused by the forum of demolishing a few churches in the state.

The forum alleged the state government has demolished churches with “absolutely no consideration and respect for something which is deeply sacred…”

The forum stated in a statement that it has been forced to carry out a non-cooperation campaign with the government and its programmes, and has declared a bandh in the district on Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Kuki Students’ Organisation has also come out in support of the forum, alleging “stepmotherly treatment to tribals.” In a statement, the Kuki Students’ Organisation said it condemns “undermining tribal rights including demolition of religious centres and illegally evicting tribal villages”.