Manipur Violence: 2 More Dead In Fresh Clashes, ITLF Calls For Emergency Shutdown In Churachandpur

The death toll in the fresh clashes in Manipur rises to four including two deaths on Tuesday. The latest deaths were both victims of bomb splinter injuries.

Visual of widespread violence in ethnic clashes-hit Manipur

At least two people died in a fresh bout of violence in Manipur in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll in the latest clashes to four. There were reports of a heavy gunbattle between two groups from the Khoirentak foothills in Bishnupur district and Chingphei and Khousabung areas in Churachandpur district on Thursday morning.

The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) has called for an emergency shutdown in Churachandpur district with immediate effect. Emergency services like medical, police, water, electricity and press access are exempted, they said.

ITLF, a Kuki-Zo community-led organisation, claimed that Lonphai, Khousabung, Kangvai and Sugnu areas of Manipur were under the attack of Meitei “militants”.

One person sustained bomb splinter injuries on his head on Wednesday and died on the way to Guwahati via Mizoram, officials said, while another injured person, who also sustained splinter injuries, died this morning in Churachandpur district hospital while undergoing treatment.

On Tuesday, two men died and six were injured in separate incidents of violence near Narainsena village in Bishnupur.

Manipur Police also conducted search operations were conducted by security forces in the fringe and vulnerable areas of Kangpokpi, Thoubal, Churachandpur and Imphal-West districts and recovered 5 arms, 31 ammunition, 19 explosives, 3 packs of IED material. They also set up 130 nakas in different districts and detained 1,646 persons in connection with various violations.

Too Many Voices Causing Confusion: CM Biren Singh

Meanwhile, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said that because there are “too many civil society organisations” who speak in different voices, it becomes difficult to find a solution to the ethnic problem rocking the state for nearly four months.

“There are too many organisations. We are at a very crucial stage now. Both the central and the state governments are confused about whom to talk to. We will go with the public (opinion) and never work against the interests of the people,” Singh said at a programme.

Over 160 people have been killed and scores injured since May 3 when ethnic violence broke out in Manipur following a "Tribal Solidarity March" organised in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe status.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal valley, while tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mostly in the hill districts.