Two Kuki Men Killed in Fresh Violence in Manipur

The two were reportedly village volunteers and were killed in an ambush.

In Manipur’s Kangpokpi district, two individuals from the Kuki-Zo community succumbed to bullet injuries in the fresh violence that transpired on Monday (November 20). The deceased have been identified as Henminlen Vaiphei, son of Luntinlal Vaiphei, and Thangminlun Hangshing, son of Lunkhongam Hangshing.

The Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU) issued a statement to the media, revealing that the incident occurred in the Kangchup area. Kuki-Zo village volunteers, patrolling the road between Leilon Vaiphei village and Kharam Vaiphei village, were allegedly ambushed by Meitei insurgents wearing state commandos’ uniforms. This case bears resemblance to a previous ambush in the Kangchup area, where three volunteers were killed allegedly by disguised Meitei militants on September 12.

Responding to the escalating violence, COTU called for an emergency meeting on Monday, advocating for a shutdown in Kangpokpi district. According to COTU, the group responsible for the killings is the same group of disguised insurgents operating in Moreh, a border town in Tengnoupal district. COTU reported various alleged atrocities committed by this group, including looting church funds, burning vehicles, harassing women and children, and demolishing houses.

A Manipur police officer overseeing the construction of a helipad in Moreh was shot dead on Tuesday, October 31, by suspected militants.

The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) said that the deceased killed in the recent violence were repairing the Lamka-Kangpokpi road, damaged by the recent spell of rainfall. After dropping off their friends at a designated point, they were ambushed while attempting to return to Leimakhong, a mere 50 metres from where they left their friends. Since the victims and their friends were unarmed, they were unable to defend themselves. One of the deceased, Henminlen Vaiphei, served as personnel of 6th IRB, posted at Leimakhong.

During The Wire’s visit to Churachandpur and Kangpokpi, it was observed that the roads were being repaired solely by the tribal community. With more than 200 deaths since May 3 in Manipur, Union home minister Amit Shah, who promised in June to visit the state after 15 days, is yet to fulfil that commitment.

Meanwhile, the Manipur Police and central forces conducted a flag march in Tengnoupal, Kakching, Thoubal, and Imphal West District.