Manipur violence: Eight killed, 18 injured in last two days, say officials

The fresh violence started on August 29 when a village volunteer was killed following heavy firing in Khoirentak area, an official said. [Photo: Twitter/ Ashok Swain]

Imphal: At least eight persons have been killed and 18 injured, including two security personnel, in Manipur’s Bishnupur and Churachandpur districts following continuous gunbattle between Kukis and Meiteis over the last 72 hours, officials said on Thursday.

An official said firing was continuing intermittently in the foothills of Khoirentak in Bishnupur district and adjoining Chingphei and Khousabung areas in Churachandpur district, PTI reported.

Violence started on August 29 when a village volunteer aged around 30 years was killed following heavy firing in Khoirentak area, an official said.

Another person died when a country-made gun he was using misfired and hit him on his face near Narainsena village in Bishnupur on the same day, officials said.

According to officials, fresh round of firing between the two groups started on Thursday morning after a few hours of lull since Wednesday evening.

A person who sustained bomb splinter injuries on his head in Wednesday’s violence died on the way to Guwahati via Mizoram, officials added.

Another injured person, who also sustained splinter injuries, died around 9am on Thursday in Churachandpur district hospital where he was undergoing treatment, the PTI report said quoitng officials further.

Officials said four more persons also died because of bullet wounds in the last 48 hours, the details of which are awaited.

According to officials, out of the five persons who sustained had splinter injuries at Chingphei area on Wednesday evening, three were taken to Churachandpur district hospital.

While one was hit by splinters on his head, the others sustained injuries on their shoulders, legs and back, officials said.

Meanwhile, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) called for an emergency shutdown in Churachandpur with immediate effect.

Essential services, including water and medical supply, are exempted from the purview of the shutdown, a statement by the ITLF said.

A separate statement by the front claimed that the victims included singer LS Mangboi Lhungdim (50), who composed the song “I Gam Hilou Ham” (Is this not our land?) after the ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, and it became a rallying cry for tribal unity.

“Militants have lately been pounding tribal areas with mortar shells stolen from police stations and armouries, and this is leading to high tribal casualties. The ITLF once again urges the government and security forces to prioritise the retrieval of looted weapons from the Meitei community,” the statement said.

“These unending attacks are clearly a ploy to derail political talks between tribal groups and the central government. The latest round of talks was held on Thursday and will continue on Friday,” the statement added.

Search operations were conducted by security forces in the fringe and vulnerable areas of Kangpokpi, Thoubal, Churachandpur and Imphal-West districts and recovered 5 arms, 31 ammunition, 19 explosives, 3 packs of IED material, Manipur police wrote on X.

Police have also set up 130 nakas in different districts and detained 1,646 persons in connection with various violations.

More than 160 people have been killed and several hundreds injured since ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, when a “Tribal Solidarity March” was organised in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal valley, while tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mostly in the hill districts.

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