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Voice of Unheard

Curfew imposed in Imphal after houses set on fire in ethnic clashes in Manipur

May 22, 2023

Manipur News: Violence among indigenous communities seems to have resurfaced in the hilly state of Manipur. Visuals emerged wherein abandoned houses had been set ablaze in New Lambulane area in Imphal in Manipur. 

Manipur’s security personnel were sent to the spot.

This comes after an ethnic clash emerged between non-tribal Meitei people and tribal Kuki people erupted on 3 May 2023, in India’s north-eastern state. The violence killed at least 60 people, and injured at least a further 230.

In the fresh violence in Manipur, two houses were torched by a mob in Imphal East district after two armed miscreants forced people to shut their shops on Monday afternoon, police officials said.

However, no casualty was reported due to the arson.

The mob also beat up one of the miscreants while the other managed to flee. The two were taken into custody.

Armymen deployed in the area who rushed to the scene used force and fired teargas shells to disperse the mob resulting in minor injuries to a few people.

Locals protested the incident by burning tyres on the road.

Following the incident, curfew hours in Imphal East district which had earlier been relaxed were tightened.

The Christian Kuki and Naga community has vehemently opposed the N Biren Singh-led BJP government’s decision to grant Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to Hindu Meitei people, who also form the majority of the population in the state.

Meanwhile, the Meitei people in the state suspect that there has been a huge increase in tribal population in the state which “cannot be explained by natural birth”. They have been requesting the application of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state for identification of illegal immigration from Myanmar.

Manipur has been reeling from internet shut down for the last 19 days, causing trouble for several. The net was switched off in this picturesque state three weeks ago after it erupted in ethnic clashes in order to stop rumours and misinformation being spread using the net which could result in a spiral of retaliatory violence.

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