Women-led vigilante groups in Manipur have blocked six key roads, making the southern part of the state inaccessible to security forces for the past two weeks.
This has become a new challenge for the forces in Manipur, which is already struggling with violence, according to a defence source who spoke to The Hindu.
The lack of adequate numbers of women contingents in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) or the paramilitary is causing delays in conducting operations and sending reinforcements to affected areas.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has sent women contingents to Manipur to manage the women-led protests.
At least six arterial roads have been completely blocked in Manipur. These include Bishnupur-Churachandpur, Thoubal-Nangjing, Thoubal-Yairipok, Yairipok-Chandrakong, Kakching-Lamkai, and Uripok-Iroisemba.
According to the source, the blockades follow a pattern where 200-300 women block the road before a mob follows them and carries out acts of violence. This has left affected villagers unable to contact the security forces for assistance.
During the Kangpokpi incident, where Kuki villages were being burnt by a Meitei mob, women protestors blocked the Army's movement from Imphal to the affected areas on 12 and 13 June.
As a result, the Army personnel had to march on foot to get to the affected areas in the Kangpokpi district.
Women leaders in Imphal have taken a strong decision to combat the security challenges in their community.
They have decided that at least one woman from each household must participate in the patrolling and checking of security forces' vehicles.
Failure to comply with this rule will result in a fine of Rs 2,000, and families that persistently refuse to cooperate will face a social boycott.
The situation in Manipur has become increasingly volatile, with more than 100 lives lost since 3 May due to ethnic violence. In response, Manipur legislators are rushing to Delhi to urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take stringent steps to stop the violence.
The Manipur state government has extended the summer vacation of government schools. Additionally, Internet services will remain suspended.
Students who are staying in relief camps will be admitted to the schools nearest to the camps. They will not be required to provide transfer certificates or pay admission fees.
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