Govt will deal with pre-poll violence firmly: Manipur CM

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on Tuesday warned to take stern action against the perpetrators of political violence ahead of the Assembly elections sheduled early next year.

The Chief Minister’s warning came a day after six persons were injured, most of them with pellet wounds, when workers of two rival political groups clashed during an election rally in the Yairipok Yambem area of Imphal East district on Monday.

Singh, who also holds the home portfolio, told the media that if anyone instigates any kind of violence or attacks any individual or organisation, the law enforcing agencies would take stern action against that person.

“Before the Assembly elections, every political party/group/individuals have their democratic right to undertake campaign maintaining the procedure and law. But none should vitiate the peaceful and democratic environment of the state,” the Chief Minister said, condemning Monday’s violent incident.

The six injured persons, including a woman, have been admitted to government hospitals, while the police have registered a case and launched a probe.

On Monday, one group of workers was led by former minister Shyamkumar, while the other was headed by a prospective candidate in the Andro Assembly constituency, Lourembam Sanjoy.

The elections to the 60-seat Manipur Assembly are expected to be held in February-March next year as the term of the state Assembly would end on March 19, 2022.

The ruling BJP has been running the government since 2017 with the support of the National People’s Party (NPP) led by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma and the Naga People’s Front (NPF), which has organisational base both in Manipur and Nagaland.