8 killed in fresh ethnic violence in Manipur this week, several injured

Photo courtesy: The Hills Journal

Imphal: Amid the fresh ethnic violence between the Meitei/Meetei and Kuki-Zo communities in Manipur’s Churachandpur District and Bishnupur District adjoining areas since Tuesday onwards, the day Manipur Legislative Assembly session was convened, a total of 8 people from both the communities have been killed in gunfight.

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According to The Hills Journal, an online news-site based out of Churachandpur, 4 village defenders from Kuki-Zo community lost their lives in the ongoing violence which started on Tuesday in the periphery areas of Chingphei, Lonphai, Langchingmanbi, Khousabung, Khoirentak and Kangathei under Churachandpur district, adjoining Meitei dominated Bishnupur district. The 4 Kuki-Zo tribals are identified as Paokam Kipgen (50) of Koite Village and Pausawndam Vaiphei (35) of Kangvai, S Mangboi Lhungdim (50) of T. Muiphai and Richard Hemkholun (31) of Neihsiel Veng. Six injured persons are identified as Khamthang (37), Lunkhohao (53), Thangliensang (35), Gouminlen (18), Muanthang (52) and Lamminlal (36).

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Thursday’s heavy firing reported use of mortars from both sides since early morning in multiple valley and hill adjoining areas such as Thamnapokpi of Bishnupur District and between Kangathei of Kom Village between Kuki armed groups and Meitei armed groups. Ukhrul Times was unable to independently verify the exact identities of the two warring armed groups.

Two Meiteis also were killed after they sustained injuries in bomb attacks at Thamnapokpi Maning Thursday afternoon. The deceased were identified as Moirangthem Ropen (44), son of M. Commander from Itam Nungoi Yourabung, and Pebam Deban (46), son of late P. Ibochou Thamnapokpi Makha Leikai Ward No. 5. Additionally, over six more Meitei individuals sustained injuries in the encounters in Thamnapokpi and Naransena areas. Mortal remains of the deceased have been deposited at RIMS morgue.

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Following the fresh flare up, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) on Thursday afternoon called for an emergency shutdown. According to ITLF, “Lonphai, Khousabung, Kangvai and Sugnu areas are under attack by Meitei Militants.” ITLF has called for Emergency Shutdown with immediate effect in Lamka district. “Emergency services like medical, police, water electricity, press are exempted,” said the Media & Publicity Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF).

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However, the same day [Thursday], the Directorate of Information and Public Relations, DIPR, Government of Manipur issued a clarification apropos to the statement issued by the ITLF in connection with the emergency shutdown in the four areas, namely Lonphai, Khousabung, Kangvai and Sugnu, claiming that these areas are under attack. DIPR clarified that there is no any attack in the aforesaid four area.

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Briefing media at Manipur Press Club on Tuesday when the fresh violence erupted again, LOUSAL President, Mutum Churamani, emphasized that despite the efforts of farmer bodies, a significant portion of paddy fields remained unsafe for farming due to violence. He urged civil society organizations in the state to advocate for intervention from central leaders to prevent further attacks on farmers.

Tuesday’s fresh violence between the two warring communities claimed two casualties — one Meitei from Bishnupur District identified as Laibujam Inao, and one Kuki-Zo tribal from Churachandpur District identified as Jangminlun Gangte (30).

There are reports of heavy exchange of gunfight in the Western side of Naranseina village today. The same village the violence erupted on August 29.

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