New Delhi: At least nine people were reportedly killed on Tuesday night as ethnic violence continues to claim lives in Manipur. The deaths occurred during incidents of firing and arson in the Aigijang village of Manipur’s Kangpokpi district.
A report in The Hindu put the death toll at 11.
According to The Indian Express, the Superintendent of Police, Imphal East, said the incident took place at around 10:30 pm on Tuesday.
Aigijang is a Kuki village, but the bodies recovered reportedly belong to nine Meitei men. The police has said they were “local volunteers”. Aigjang lies at the border of Kangkopi and Imphal East districts. As violence has continued over the last several days, many Meitei men have reportedly come to from nearby areas to “defend” the Meitei-dominated parts of this border area.
“There was firing in the village around 10-10:30pm and nine people were killed and 10 others injured. All injured have been admitted to hospital where the condition of one is stated to be critical,” Imphal East police superintendent K. Shivakanta Singh said.
According to The Hindu, police said Kuki militants hurled several bombs at Khamenlok late on Tuesday night. “Khamenlok has been the main battleground for the Kuki tribal militants and the non-tribal Meiteis. In the past few days several persons were killed and wounded in clashes with the militant groups who are armed with many sophisticated weapons,” the report said.
More than 115 people have been killed and 40,000 displaced from their homes due to ethnic violence in Manipur that began on May 3. Tensions arose in the state after the majority Meitei community demanded Scheduled Tribe status and hill tribes opposed this demand.
There has been little respite from the violence. On Monday, 22-year-old Muansang Naulak was shot dead by a mob in Loklaiphai village, Torbung.
Both Kuki and Meitei groups have said they do not have faith in the peace committee put together by the Union government and will not be joining it.