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Special flight to bring back Maharashtra students stuck in violence-hit Manipur: CM Eknath Shinde

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday said a special flight will be arranged for students from the state currently stuck in the riot-hit Manipur.

Violent clashes broke out recently between tribals and members of the majority Meitei community in Manipur, which has so far displaced more than 13,000 people and killed at least 54.

The clashes broke out after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in 10 hill districts of the state to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

CM Shinde in an official statement said his government was keeping a watch on the situation in Manipur.

“There are 22 students (in Manipur) from Maharashtra. I have spoken to two of them – Vikash Sharma and Tushar Awhad – and assured them of arranging a special flight to return home. I told them not to be afraid of anything, the state is making all the necessary arrangements to bring them back safely,” he said.

The students were studying in some of the technology institutes based in Manipur, the release said.

“I have also spoken to Maharashtra Chief Secretary Manoj Sounik and other state officials to make the necessary arrangements. We are currently watching the situation closely,” the CM said.

Life started limping back to normalcy under the watchful eyes of army drones and helicopters deployed for aerial reconnaissance as curfew was relaxed on Sunday in parts of Manipur which witnessed bloody ethnic rioting over the last few days.

People were seen coming out in large numbers to buy food, medicines and other essential commodities during the curfew relaxation period from 7 am to 10 am in riot-affected Churachandpur town.

Army and Assam Rifles columns conducted a flag march through the town as soon as the curfew relaxation ended at 10 am. In all, 120-125 Army columns have been deployed in the entire riot-hit state.

Sources said some 10,000 soldiers, para-military and central police forces have been deployed in Manipur.


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