Curfew imposed in Manipur districts post continuous violence

Imphal, December 19: Over 20 vehicles were torched Manipur’s Imphal district on December 18 by the residents, who were protesting against the Naga economic blockade. This has forced the authorities to clamp an indefinite curfew in Imphal East district.

According to India Today, the district administration said that the curfew will continue till situation improves in the region. The state Cabinet has also decided to shut down mobile internet services in an effort to destabilise mounting tension in the Imphal valley. The Cabinet took this decision to halt spreading of rumours through social networking sites, the official statement read.

The Naga groups, under United Naga Council (UNC) have imposed an indefinite economic blockade on the two national highways passing through Manipur. These highways are the economic lifeline of the state.Amid the unrest, suspected militants have carried out several attacks in Manipur leaving three policemen dead and 14 others injured in last few days, reported the Times of India.

On December 16 three bomb explosions took place at Nagaram in Imphal West district. No attacks have happened since then.

Sources Times of India  Indian Express

Cauvery Issue: Understanding why Bengaluru was burnt

The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal was formed twenty-six years ago to settle the water dispute tussle between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Seventeen years after its formation, in 2007, the Tribunal came out with its final verdict. It pronounced that Tamil Nadu would be entitled to 12 km³ of water from the Cauvery river, while Karnataka should legally receive 7.6 km³ of water from the river. At that point in time, Karnataka was releasing only 5.6 km³ of water to the feuding neighbor.

Protests erupted in the state of Karnataka, with a state-wise bandh called by the Kannada Rakshana Vedike, a self-confessed pro-Kannadiga group, supported by 30-odd powerful trade unions. The bandh steeped into sectarian violence, with every social entity,  from corner kiosks to million-dollar information technology enterprises, being shut down. Air and train services were disrupted, buses were burnt, bringing the state to a standstill. While the political games continued, monsoon came to the rescue of Tamil Nadu, putting an interim break to public agitation over the issue.

Nine years have passed and the stalemate continues, with both the states refusing to budge or give in. After reassuming power for the second consecutive time, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa filed a petition on behalf of the state in August this year with the Supreme Court, urging Karnataka to release water as per mandate. The Supreme Court (SC) in response to the petition ordered that Karnataka release water and said that the Karnataka government should “live and let live.” Karnataka, though dissatisfied, complied with the order and started releasing water, but on the other hand, pressure from the political circles and the public mounted.

The Karnataka Chief Minister Siddharamaiah filed a petition with the SC to stay the order. While the SC refused to stay the order, it reduced water to be released from 15,000 cusecs to 12,000 cusecs. This leads to a repeat of 2007.

Mobs attacked businesses with Tamil Names in Bengaluru. Over 30 busses of the private bus operator KPN were burnt down. Violence also erupted on the Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway.

“The first incident of arson was reported from NICE road, Electronics City around 11.30am when miscreants set a goods truck of Tamil Nadu registraion on fire. Four more trucks, all from Tamil Nadu, were set ablaze in Nayandanahalli Junction and a mob attacked policemen who tried to stop them,” read a Times of India report. In retaliation, the police opened fire, and two people have reportedly lost their lives in the violence that ensued.

The Central government sent around 1,000 anti-riot personnel and around 10 companies of Border Security Force and Indo-Tibetian border police to both the states. While Siddharamaiah and his counterpart J.Jayalalithaa wrote angry letters to each other, Section 144 was imposed in Bengaluru city, Mandya, Mysuru, Srirangapatna and near four dams in the Cauvery basin.

On the other side of the border, people from Karnataka were mobbed, businesses operated by people from the state vandalized. Memes and posts against Sandalwood actors went viral, and petrol bombs were hurled at a popular restaurant under the Udupi banner in Chennai.

Over the years, nature of monsoon alone has given the people from both the states a break from continuing the violence. Important questions arise from this socio-political issue that has created an “uneasy disposition” in both the states. History traces those incidents of mob violence as uncontrollable only when it has been planned by institutions of authority. Are the parties in power refusing to sit down to settle the stalemate, in a bid to gain political sympathy?

Curfew imposed in Kashmir valley on Eid

The Jammu and Kashmir state administration on Tuesday banned gatherings at popular mosques and imposed curfew in all ten districts in the Kashmir valley. The decision comes in the wake of death of two people in clashes across the valley, which took place after morning prayers of Eid.

One death was reported during clashes with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district as well.

The army has been asked to be on standby, in case there is a fresh episode of outbreak of violence. The valley has been witnessing unrest for  the past two and a half months, leading to the death of 75 people.

The curfew will be enforced from midnight and in addition to this, the army has been placed at different points.

This is the first time that a curfew has been imposed on the day of Eid.

The army has deployed drones and choppers to keep the situation under control.

Further, the government has shutdown internet services of all telecom networks and mobile networks apart from BSNL for the next three days.

2 dead and 19 injured as groups clash in Saharanpur

Picture Courtesy – ABP News,
Saharanpur: 2 people died while 19 others were badly wounded as two groups clashed in the Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh earlier in the day. As the reports suggest, the chaos broke out over the construction of a disputed property which suddenly grew out of proportion.

Shops were set on fire while vehicles were vandalised as the scene turned ugly. The police did arrive but had to bear the brunt of the protesters who pelted stones at each other. Reports also suggest that there were few rounds of bullets fired though official confirmation has yet not been given.

Curfew has been imposed with senior officials from the police force rushed to meet the emergency. According to IANS, the traffic on the highway that leads to Ambala also got disrupted. There have been a massive number of security personnel deployed in the area with reports of PAC and RAF also called in.

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Army called to handle Muzaffarnagar violence

UP governor BL Joshi sent a report to Delhi on Muzaffarnagar violence, reportedly blaming the state govt for failing to maintain peace in the state | Image:

The death toll in Muzaffarnagar has risen upto 31. The alarming number of deaths has forced the Prime Minister to get involved. The PM spoke to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister , Akhilesh Yadav on Monday. The Prime Minister spoke to the Chief Minister about the steps being taken to restore peace in the areas which have witnessed violence, a PMO statement said, “The Prime Minister condemned the violence and expressed grief and shock over the loss of innocent lives,” it said.

The Army staged a flag march in the riot-hit curfew bound areas of Muzaffarnagar. Eight columns of the Army were deployed at the request of the district authorities in the late hours of Saturday, following the communal riots which erupted in Muzaffarnagar and its adjoining rural areas, after those going to participate in the `Bahu Beti Samaan Bachaoi Mahapanchyat’ were attacked and fired upon.

The administration passed orders for an indefinite curfew was imposed in certain areas of Muzaffarnagar city – Nayi Mandi, City Kotwali and Civil Lines on Saturday. The situation in Muzaffarnagar worsened on Saturday following incidents of firing, stone pelting and violence in which IBN7 journalist Rajesh Verma and a part-time photographer of the state police, Israr, were killed.

Read more here.

(With inputs from Ananya Chanda)