Imphal April 27 (IANS) Police have beefed up security in some areas of Manipur to prevent clashes in the wake of three murders that could have a communal fallout.
Meanwhile, security personnel and agencies have been pressed into service to bring the attackers to book.
A number of organisations have been demanding that the culprits be booked immediately to ease the tension.
There have been various forms of agitations in Ukhrul district of Manipur to press the demand for punishment to the killers of a truck driver, P.A. Chinasang, who was abducted by some persons on April 18.
His decomposed body was exhumed from a forest after one suspect, Nganlinlen Baite, and his accomplices were arrested.
During interrogation, Baite allegedly confessed to the crime and led a police team to the spot where the body was buried.
Activists say the mastermind of the crime is yet to be arrested.
The victim was a Naga while the accused are non-Naga tribals.
Police believe that the driver was abducted in order to extort ransom from the contractor doing some construction work in the district.
The Tangkhul Naga Long, an NGO, has been demanding the arrest of the culprits, and police are trying to nab them since there is a long history of ethnic clashes between the two tribes.
On Tuesday, protestors blocked the Trans Asian Highway, though later police dispersed them and brought the situation under control.
The angry people wsere protesting against the mysterious death of Sagolshem Prasanta, a youth from Singjmaei, on Tuesday.
His body was found hanging from a tree at Lilong, a Muslim village. Since he was blindfolded, people believe he was murdered.
Recently two Muslim boys were lynched on the charge of stealing a two-wheeler.
In the clashes that followed, 60 persons sustained injuries, mostly from gunshots. Seven shops and two houses were torched.
Both incidents took place at Lilong and Mayang Imphal where Muslim and non-Muslim villages exist side by side.
Police have not arrested anyone as yet in connection with the murder of Prasanta.
Chittaranjan Sharma of Imphal who had gone to meet his girlfriend in Ukhrul district on April 19 never returned home.
His decomposed body was found on April 26 from a ravine in the district.
People have been agitating and demanding the arrests of the culprits, but police have not made any breakthrough in the investigation.
Meanwhile, several organisations have appealed to the people for restraint and not to exacerbate situation. All Manipur United Clubs Organisation, All Manipur Women Voluntary Association, Poirei Leimarol Meira Paibis, Committee of Civil Societies Kangleipak and others have appealed to the people to remain calm and not be misled by rumours.
Mani Khuman, president of the AMUCO, said: “It is unfortunate that the incident should have happened now. In the recent past there was lynching followed by group clashes at Mayang Imphal.”
He asked the state government to take urgent steps to defuse the situation by arresting the culprits since tension is running high at several places.