- The Assam Rifles responsible for overseeing the “buffer zones” between regions dominated by the Meitei and Kuki-Zomi communities in Manipur, is encountering opposition from the Meitei population.
- The Assam Rifles and the Army have been stationed in “fringe locations” where Meitei-dominated valley areas meet Kuki-Zomi-dominated hill areas.
- This strategy aims to prevent troublemakers from crossing between these territories although members of the Meitei community are unhappy about this arrangement, believing that the Assam Rifles exhibit bias towards the Kuki-Zomi group.
- A protest was held across the valley by the Meitei women activists known as Meira Paibis.
- It is a loosely structured, women’s social movement in Manipur often led by senior women, possessing a lasting presence in Manipuri civil society, embodying the role of conscience keepers without rigid hierarchy or overt political affiliations.
- It has been a symbol of civil society since its inception in 1977 in Kakching district.
- These torch-bearing women, known as Imas or Mothers of Manipur, represent various social strata in the Imphal valley.
- Respected and revered, they hold significant moral influence.
- Over the decades, the Meira Paibis have led numerous social and political movements in the state, including some powerful protests against alleged atrocities by Indian security forces.
- Its initial focus of fighting alcoholism and drug abuse has now expanded to countering human rights violations and the development of society at large.
- Mandate: The Assam Rifles (AR) is a central paramilitary force responsible for border security, counter-insurgency, and maintaining law and order in Northeast India.
- Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Home Affairs
- Operational Control: The Indian Army
- Mandate: To guard the Indo-Myanmar border