The tensions have again escalated in Manipur’s Imphal after a firing incident that has left at least 16 people injured, the report said.
According to The Indian Express report, 16 people were injured in “heavy exchange of fire” in Phayeng area of Imphal East, bordering Kangpokpi district, on Friday.
“Most of those injured are from the valley and one person is said to be critical. The injured are recuperating at Regional Institute of Medical Sciences,” the report said.
The latest incident came a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah left Imphal following a three-day visit to the state to take stock of the prevailing situation, following clashes that began early May.
“On Friday, the exchange of fire started around 9.30 am and continued until late evening,” the report stated.
It added: “three miscreants equipped with sophisticated weapons set fire to a local’s farmhouse before opening fire at villagers around 9.30 am.”
It also said armed men “suspected to be Kuki militants, came down from the side of the hills “and set fire to the farmhouse”.
“Following this, villagers armed with licensed weapons exchanged gunfire with the miscreants, who eventually retreated to a nearby hill,” the report said.
“As the news spread, hundreds of people from different parts of adjoining areas, many of them carrying weapons, including a few automatic rifles, rushed to the village and intense firing broke out between these armed individuals,” the report quoting local residents said.
Phayeng is one of several villages in the peripheral areas of Imphal that have been attacked by armed miscreants, suspected to be Kuki militants, since clashes first broke out on May 3, it said.
It mentioned the last incident occurred on May 28, in which one villager was killed.
The report quoting an official statement said the violence that broke out on May 3 has claimed 98 lives so far, and nearly 4,000 weapons have been “looted from the armoury” of state forces and the police.