Manipur Violence: Three people were killed in recent incidents of rioting in Manipur's Bishnupur district on Friday evening. The victims were identified as Meitei community members from the Kwakta region.
Several Kuki village homes were set on fire in these violent episodes. Following this, violent gunfire erupted between the Kuki community and security personnel in Bishnupur's Kwakta zone. Manipur's police and commandos retaliated in kind.
The death of three Meitei community members was confirmed by Bishnupur police, who also reported the burning of several Kuki dwellings.
A commando was injured in the head during the gunshots and is currently being treated at a Bishnupur medical facility. Paramilitary units have been deployed in the affected area as a result of the rising violence.
Police officers reported that a group crossed the set buffer zone and opened fire on Meitei territory.
This buffer zone, which is supervised by central soldiers, extends more than 2 kilometres beyond the Kwakta region in Bishnupur. The presence of law officers remains at the scene.
This violent event comes just two days after 17 people were injured after clashes between the military forces and demonstrators from the Meitei community in the same district.
This prompted the administrations in both Imphal East and West to reinstate previously lifted curfews for safety grounds.
In an effort to keep the situation under control, army forces and Manipur Police deployed tear gas on demonstrators in Kangvai and Phougakchao.
When Meitei ladies attempted to pass through a restricted zone, they were halted by Assam Rifles and the Rapid Action Force. As a result, there were violent clashes between the population and security forces.
The conflict erupted on May 3 following a 'Tribal Solidarity March' in the hill districts. This march was in reaction to the Meitei community's desire for Scheduled Tribe (ST) designation.
Meiteis make up around 53% of Manipur's population and are predominantly concentrated in the Imphal Valley. Tribal tribes, like the Nagas and Kukis, make up around 40% of the population, primarily in the hill regions.