New Delhi/Guwahati: As ethnic violence continues unabated in Manipur, officials in the state government have revealed that mobs comprising thousands of local people raided warehouses and armouries of various state security forces and looted thousands of weapons. According to some reports, over 4,000 weapons belonging to the state’s police and paramilitary forces are missing. The amount of ammunition looted is unknown.
This includes Kalashnikov and M16 automatic rifles, submachine guns, carbines, and imported handguns. Security agencies fear that some of these weapons might have already reached the various militant groups operating in the state and are based in Myanmar just across the highly porous international border.
In one incident, according to a report, a mob comprising “thousands of men” raided the armoury at the Manipur Police Training Centre, on Sunday afternoon, at Imphal East’s Pangei village and decamped with “whatever they could lay their hands on”, including dummy guns for training.
On Monday, the Indian Army said its troops deployed in state to control the situation recovered one INSAS rifle with a magazine, 60 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition, one Chinese hand grenade, and one detonator during a routine checking of vehicles at a checkpoint set up for the purpose.
The Army claimed that it averted a “major incident” by intercepting the vehicle and making the recovery. It may be mentioned that the Union home minister, Amit Shah, is visiting the state on Tuesday to take stock of the situation.