Imphal: Nine killed,4-5 missing after firing in Khamenlok village in Kangpokpi district. After 48 hours of silence, fresh violence erupted in trouble-torn Manipur on June 13 night when miscreants opened fire on a Khamenlok village, killing at least nine peoples and injuring similar numbers.
According to reports, miscreants burned down several houses in Khamenlok village and opened fire on an assembly of people which led to the death of nine people on the spot. Nine people were injured in the attack, and 4 to 5 persons are still missing, local authorities said.
Security forces and civil authorities reached the spot after the attack and recovered the dead bodies. The injured were admitted to the local hospital. Security forces conducted search operations in the area and gun fights were also reported between security forces and militants from Kangpokpi district. The situation in the violence-hit State remains tense after the fresh attack on the night of June 13. Security personnel continue to patrol in high-risk areas in order to prevent a breakdown in law and order.
Meanwhile, the Committee on Tribals Unity Sadar Hills (COTU) condemned the violence in the Khamenlok villages in Saikul Sub Division of Kangpokpi District since yesterday.
COTU Spokesperson Rev. K Sitlhou lamented that despite the Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s best efforts to restore peace, violence has continued in these areas. It should be mentioned that firing and arson incidents were reported from Khopibung Kuki village on June 12, the violence spread to Khamenlok village on June 13, and separate incidents of firing were reported from different parts of the district on June 14 too.
Khamenlok has around 25 households, and the miscreants reportedly torched down most of these houses. Around four people injured in yesterday’s violence are undergoing treatment at Saikul PHC.
Meanwhile, in the last 24 hours, firearms and 63 ammunition have been recovered from Tengnoupal and Imphal-East districts.
Kuldiep Singh, security adviser to the Manipur Government, said that a total of 1040 arms, 13,601 ammunition, and 230 different types of bombs had been recovered so far by the forces in different operations across the State.
The Manipur Government has extended the ban on the internet in the State till June 15 in view of the prevailing situation.
Recently, Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited the State and announced a series of measures to restore peace.
Earlier, North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma held a crucial meeting with the Kuki rebel groups leaders and Chief Minister of Manipur N Biren Singh.
Amit Shah had announced that a peace committee would be formed in the State.
It should be mentioned that violence broke out in Manipur during a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ organised in the hill districts by the tribal students union on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Over 110 people have lost their lives, and more than 350 people, including an MLA and several security personnel, were injured in the violence continuing for over a month. 4,1014 numbers of arson cases were registered during the violence, and over 41000 people were displaced in the clashes.
The Hindu Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Kuki and other tribes constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts. Recently the Manipur Government started evictions in the hill and forest areas encroached upon by migrant Kukis. Tension started in the hill districts during the evictions. The Manipur High Court on March 27 passed the judgement to include the Meitei community in the ST list, and protests erupted in the hill districts after the High Court judgement.
During the solidarity march organised by the tribal students union backed by the church’s community, armed Kuki militants attacked the Meitei community village in the Bishnupur district on May 3. Violence spread to the entire State thereafter.