Manipur Factions Deploy Quadcopters

Imphal/ New Delhi: Security forces in Manipur found the Meitei and Kuki factions using quadcopters to track and target their opponents in certain areas of the state. While the Army and Assam Rifles are deploying quadcopters for rescue operations, the clashing ethnic groups are using them against each other due to deep-rooted mistrust.

These groups have been reported to intermittently fire at the quadcopters to prevent revealing their locations. Security agencies have observed that the warring factions, Meiteis primarily concentrated in the Imphal valley, and Kukis mainly residing on the hillside, are employing quadcopters to determine each other's positions.

Specific locations such as Phougakchao, Kangvai Bazaar, and Torbung Bazaar in the southwest part of Manipur have witnessed extensive use of quadcopters by these communities, whose villages face each other. Buffer zones have been established by security forces in these areas to separate the agitated communities. However, despite the presence of security forces, places like Loibol in Senapati district and Leimaram in Bishnupur district remain hotspots of violence.

Quadcopters, readily available in the market, offer the advantage of hovering in one place compared to fixed-wing drones that need continuous movement.

In contrast, drones have also been instrumental in assisting the Army and Assam Rifles in rescue operations, saving nearly 2,000 civilians in the Kakching district of Southeast Manipur. Security forces used drones to locate armed assailants, block their positions, and engage them while simultaneously rescuing civilians through an alternate route.

During the ethnic riots that began on May 3, security forces relied on quadcopters for rescue operations and property protection. In one instance, rioters in Imphal city targeted a quadcopter using stones as it aided troops in navigating the narrow lanes and bylanes.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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