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Two held for killing of Moreh SDPO in Manipur

Imphal: Two persons were arrested for allegedly being involved in the killing of a sub-divisional police officer at Moreh in Manipur's Tengnoupal district, police said on Tuesday.

They were apprehended on Monday evening by special commando teams at the border town, a police statement said.

"During patrolling near Moreh College, security personnel observed two suspected individuals who fired at the vehicles of security personnel and ran into a cluster of houses.

"The security forces immediately retaliated and cordoned off the houses near Moreh College," the police said.

During the operation, the two persons were "overpowered and detained for verification", the statement said.

They were arrested after a firearm and ammunition were seized from their possession, it said.

A group of women, however, staged a demonstration in front of the Moreh Police Station, demanding the release of the two persons.

According to the statement, the arrested persons are "among the main suspects" in the killing of Moreh SDPO Chingtham Anand in October last year.

Anand was shot dead when a police team led by him was inspecting the newly constructed helipad at the Eastern Ground in the border town dominated by people belonging to the Kuki-Zo community.

The incident came weeks after several civil society organisations, particularly those based in Moreh, demanded the removal of state forces from the border town.

Manipur has been rocked by ethnic violence since May last year and over 180 people were killed.

The violence erupted on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mostly in the hill districts.

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