Two houses were torched by a mob in Imphal East district after two armed miscreants forced people to shut down their shops on Monday afternoon, police said, as reported by PTI. No casualties were reported from the incident.

A ruckus broke out at New Checkon Bazaar area over space in the market at around 10 30 AM, following which clashes took place. At around 2 PM, two houses were set on fire, reported by The Indian Express.

Police said that the mob also beat up one of the miscreants, while another fled. Three people have been arrested so far in the case.

Armymen deployed in the area who rushed to the scene used force and fired teargas shells to disperse the mob resulting in minor injuries to a few people. Locals protested the incident by burning tires on the road.

The incident tightened the curfew in the district, which was earlier relaxed from 6 AM-4 PM. The curfew period now ranges from 6 AM-2 PM.

Internet services have also been suspended for five more days, citing reports of continued “incidents like arson of houses and premises”.

“There is apprehension that anti-social elements might use social media extensively for transmission of images, hate speech and hate video messages inciting the passions of the public which might have serious repercussions for the law-and-order situation in the state of Manipur, the order read.

The north-eastern state has been on the boil since May 3 when clashes broke out in several districts of Manipur after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organized in the hill districts to protest against the politically influential Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.

The ethnic clashes which started from May 3 have so far claimed more than 70 lives in Manipur.

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