Monday, April 22, 2024

Photos: Toll of ethnic violence in Manipur

Ram, 45 from Nomang Village of Churachandpur District suffered a bullet. He was fired by a night commando of Manipur police near Kangwai Border. Photo: Danish Pandit/Maktoob

At least 73 people have been killed and over 35000 have been displaced in the ethnic violence that has taken place in the northeastern state of Manipur over the last two weeks.

The violence has spurred between two ethnic groups Meitis and the Kuki’s in Manipur after a court directed the state government to look for the feasibility of the reservation for the dominant Meiti community in the state.

Burnt houses of the Kuki’s by the Meitis between the stretch from Torbung border to Churachandpur district. Hundreds of Kuki houses were put on fire. Photo: Danish Pandit/Maktoob

On May 03, violent clashes broke out at several places during the ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ called by the All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur (ATSUM). The march was organised in protest against the demand for inclusion of the state’s Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category, following an April 19 Manipur High Court directive.

More than 1,700 buildings, including churches and Hindu temples, were burned down during the violence. Reports suggest that many of the families have fled to neighbouring Myanmar in a bid to save their lives.

Young kuki children sleeping on the bench at the Imphal airport. Hundreds of families fled from the Northeastern state due to the recent violence that broke out in Manipur. Photo: Danish Pandit/Maktoob

Meiteis – a predominantly Hindu community which forms more than half of Manipur’s population of three million.

As of now, the curfew is in place in the state that was first placed on May 2. The internet service in the region also remained suspended.

Debris of the shops of Meitis that were torched by the kuki’s in Churachandpur. Photo: Danish Pandit/Maktoob
Photo: Danish Pandit/Maktoob

All 10 Kuki MLAs in Manipur, including eight from the Bharatiya Janata Party, had urged the Centre to create a separate administration. They had alleged that the violence was perpetrated by the majority Meitei community and was “tacitly supported” by the BJP-run state government.

Chief Minister of the state, N Biren Singh, rejected the demand.

An army soldier watches at the lens while sitting in an army casper patrolling at the Kangwai border. Photo: Danish Pandit/Maktoob

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