Manipur: Fresh incidents of violence were reported in Manipur’s Bishnupur district on Friday, resulting in the deaths of at least three people from the Meitei community in the Kwakta area. Additionally, several houses belonging to the Kuki community were set ablaze during the turmoil.
Miscreants Opened Fire On Meitei Community
The Bishnupur Police disclosed that the violence occurred when some individuals crossed the buffer zone and opened fire on the Meitei community in their areas. The buffer zone guarded by central forces was established more than 2 km ahead of the Kwakta area to prevent further escalation of violence. The Manipur Police and armed forces have also been deployed to the affected areas to maintain law and order.
Earlier on Friday, a mob broke into a police armoury and stole weapons, including AK and ‘Ghatak’ series of assault rifles, and more than 19,000 bullets, officials said. The incident took place at the battalion headquarters of the 2nd India Reserve Battalion at Naranseina in Bishnupur district.
Recent Clashes Reported
Just two days before this incident, clashes erupted between armed forces and Meitei community protesters in the same district, leaving 17 people injured. The authorities responded by withdrawing curfew relaxations in Imphal East and Imphal West as a precautionary measure during the day.
About Manipur Violence
The ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur began approximately three months ago on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was held in the hill districts to oppose the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. The violence has claimed over 160 lives and injured hundreds since its onset.
Meiteis constitute about 53% of Manipur’s population and primarily reside in the Imphal Valley. On the other hand, tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, account for 40% of the population and predominantly inhabit the hill districts.