Days after fresh violence erupted in Manipur, the Union Home Ministry on Thursday repatriated Srinagar Police Chief Rakesh Balwal to the northeastern state. Manipur has been witnessing ethnic clashes between the Meitei and Kuki-Zomi communities since May this year.
However, things began to return to normal until the pictures of two killed Meitei students went viral last week. The students went missing in July this year.
As the news of their brutal killing spread, large scale protests from students and Meitei tribe members broke out across Manipur. The protesters clashed with police officials even as Chief Minister Biren Singh assured strict action against the perpetrators.
By bringing in Balwal, the Centre wants to contain the situation in the northeastern state. A 2012 batch IPS officer of Manipur cadre, Balwal was assigned to the Jammu and Kashmir police since 2021. He was posted in Srinagar as Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP).
Prior to that, he was posted in the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which also probed the Pulwama attack in 2019.
Mobile internet services suspended
Disturbing images of the Manipur students had gone viral on social media on Tuesday. One image depicted the missing students seated in a grassy area with two armed individuals standing behind them, while another image showed their lifeless bodies.
In response to the incident, mobile internet services have been temporarily suspended in Manipur, and Chief Minister Singh has assured that strict action will be taken against the perpetrators.
The Opposition Congress, however, has demanded Singh’s removal as Manipur CM. The grand-old-party also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his decision to not visit the state.
“The situation in the state is not showing signs of improvement. In light of this, the BJP-led state government should be dismissed promptly. It is evident that PM Modi’s priorities lie elsewhere, and he seems more focused on his image and election campaigns,” Congress stated in a tweet on X (formerly Twitter).