In a disturbing turn of events, a 35-year-old village volunteer, identified as Jamesbond Ningombam from Mayang Lamgjing, fell victim to armed militants in Kadangband Part 2, Imphal West district, Manipur. The incident occurred around 3:30 am, marking a renewed outbreak of violence in the troubled state.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh swiftly condemned the attack, attributing it to “evil elements” attempting to disrupt the hard-fought peace in the region. Addressing a press conference on December 30, Singh emphasised the ongoing investigation and combing operations while urging dialogue and negotiation to resolve issues amicably and restore peace.
The assailants, suspected to be Kuki-armed militants, targeted the village volunteer during a renewed bout of violence that has plagued Manipur since May. The incident adds to the grim toll of over 180 lives lost and nearly 60,000 people internally displaced in the past seven months.
Local authorities have initiated a post-mortem examination at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences on Jamesbond Ningombam’s body, further underscoring the gravity of the situation.
The state of Manipur has been grappling with unrest, ignited by a solidarity march organized by the tribal students union earlier this year. The march protested the grant of Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the majority Meitei community. The resulting tensions have led to a series of violent incidents, deepening the societal divide and causing significant upheaval.
As various civil societies, Meira Paibis, and organisations strive to restore peace, this recent attack underscores the urgent need for sustained efforts towards dialogue and conflict resolution. The state remains on edge, grappling with the repercussions of this fresh incident as it seeks a path towards reconciliation and stability.