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Amid protests to stop him from resigning, Biren Singh says no to quitting Manipur CM's post

Amid protests to stop him from resigning, Biren Singh says no to quitting Manipur CMs post

Imphal: Biren N. Singh, the chief minister of Manipur, stated on Friday that he was not resigning his position, putting a stop to a daylong rumour on the subject.

Thousands of protesters stopped the Manipur Chief Minister's convoy from travelling to Raj Bhavan prior to his clarification.

The CM eventually told women demonstrators that he was not resigning from the chief minister’s post.

Biren Singh later also tweeted, “At this crucial juncture I would like to clarify that I will not be resigning from the post of chief minister.”

Women leaders who met him defused the situation by coming out of the chief minister's residence and assuring the crowd that Singh was not resigning. The mob slowly dispersed from his residence after this statement.

Unconfirmed reports said that the CM had typed out a resignation letter but was persuaded by his supporters to tear it up. Some of the women agitators alleged they had seen the torn letter and social media also posted copies of it.

The chief minister’s office did not respond to queries on the issue..

Earlier in the afternoon, hundreds of youth wearing black shirts and women sat down in front of the CM’s residence demanding that Biren Singh should not resign.

Kshetrimayum Shanti, a women leader said, “At this critical juncture, the Biren Singh government should stand firm and crack down on troublemakers.”.

Sources said there were strong rumours in Imphal since morning that the chief minister was contemplating resigning from his post after renewed violence in the state on Thursday claimed three more lives, leaving 5 injured in violence Thursday.

The toll in exchange of fire between security forces and suspected rioters in Kangpokpi district a day before, rose to three on Friday, with one more person succumbing to injuries in hospital, officials said.

Armed rioters had opened unprovoked firing at Haraothel village on Thursday. The Army said security forces personnel "responded in a calibrated manner" to tackle the situation, they said.

Members of the community to which two of the rioters belonged collected their bodies on Thursday and took out a procession to the CM’s residence here, they said.

The demonstrators, led by women, even dared police to arrest them, and were also seen burning tyres in the middle of the road to prevent police movement, the officials said.

As security personnel stopped them from marching to Singh’s residence, the processionists turned violent, prompting police to use tear gas shells and resort to lathi-charge to disperse the mob.

More than 100 people have lost their lives in the ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki communities in the northeastern state so far.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals -- Nagas and Kukis -- constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.

With PTI inputs

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