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Tuesday, 19 June, 2001, 11:10 GMT 12:10 UK
'Shoot on sight' order in Manipur
Manipur speaker's house in flames
The Manipur speaker's house was attacked
Police in Manipur in northeast India have been issued shoot on sight orders to enforce a curfew in the violence-hit state.

Fifteen people have been killed and more than 50 injured as thousands of people rioted in protest against a recent deal between the government in Delhi and Naga rebels.


We shall... deal with any mob violence very firmly

Manipur police chief A S Siddiqui
On Monday the demonstrators burnt down more than 20 official buildings including the state legislative assembly and offices of political parties and politicians.

Manipuris are angry at the agreement between the Indian Government and the rebel National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) which they fear could break up their state.

Violence

Thousands of protesters are still demonstrating outside the residence of the state governor, which they attempted to storm on Monday.

They have demanded that state legislators as well as Manipur MPs in Delhi resign or face "public wrath".

On Monday, four legislators - including assembly speaker Sapam Dhananjoy - were admitted to hospital with serious burn injuries, following the attack on the assembly building.

Manipur assembly
The assembly was burnt down on Monday
Extra units of riot police and army troops have been requisitioned and are being flown into the state, amid fears that militant rebels could take advantage of the situation and launch attacks.

Helicopters are also reported to be patrolling over the skies of the capital, Imphal.

There are also concerns over plans to hold mass, public funerals for those killed in the violence.


There will be no change in the borders of Manipur at all

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee
"We shall be holding peace committee meetings and want to see how the people react, as the family members of those killed will be coming to take possession of the dead bodies," Manipur police chief A S Siddiqui said.

"We shall only allow the nearest family members to come to the morgue and deal with any mob violence very firmly," he warned.

Truce deal opposed

Last week the Indian Government decided to widen its four-year ceasefire with the NSCN to cover areas outside Nagaland, where the group has a presence.

Indian soldiers
Extra troops have been requisitioned
This has been opposed by people in Manipur and the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam - which border Nagaland.

They say the move will undermine their local authorities and cause unrest, and could also be the first step towards carving a greater Nagaland out of their territory.

"This is a definite ploy by the Indian Government to concede to the NSCN's demand and we shall shed blood to see that the idea does not work out," Biren Shah, a Manipuri activist, said.

But Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has said the violence was a result of misconception and appealed for calm.

"The ceasefire with the Naga group does not affect Manipur or any other state. There will be no change in the borders of Manipur at all," Mr Vajpayee said.

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See also:

19 Jun 01 | South Asia
Analysis: Manipur's ethnic bloodlines
15 Jun 01 | South Asia
Row over Naga rebel ceasefire
18 Sep 00 | South Asia
Naga rebel freed from Thai prison
02 Nov 00 | South Asia
Ten killed in Manipur gunbattle
21 Nov 97 | From Our Own Correspondent
The forgotten war in Nagaland
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