Violence in Manipur Again: Meitei and Kuki Groups Engage in Gunbattle

Violence in Manipur Again: The volatile state of Manipur is once again plunged into turmoil as fresh outbreaks of violence intensify. Ethnic clashes between Meitei and Kuki groups, coupled with confrontations between Manipur police commandos and militants, have escalated tensions. The recent incidents, occurring just 26 days after a tragic gunfight claimed 13 lives, underscore the persistent strife in the region. Explore the unfolding events that have left one dead and ignited concerns about the resurging unrest in Manipur.

Creator: ANI | Credit: S Lal Singh

Violence in Manipur Again: Meitei and Kuki Groups Engage in Gunbattle

In a tragic turn of events, Manipur witnessed a fresh outbreak of violence, marking a grim continuation of the ethnic tensions that have plagued the state. On Saturday, a gun battle erupted between Meitei and Kuki groups in the Kangpokpi district, resulting in the death of a Meitei man, Ningombam James, 32.

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Creator: ARUN SANKAR | Credit: AFP via Getty Images

Tragic Casualty in Meitei-Kuki Clash: Ningombam James, 32, Succumbs to Injuries

The exchange of fire occurred in the early hours of December 30, 2023, between village defence volunteers of the Kuki and Meitei communities. Despite efforts to control the situation, the confrontation led to casualties, with James succumbing to bullet injuries sustained during the crossfire.

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Creator: STR | Credit: AFP via Getty Images

Buffer Zone Unrest: Forestland Dispute Triggers Violent Exchange Between Village Volunteers

The incident unfolded in the buffer zone between Imphal West and Kangpokpi, highlighting the ongoing tensions between the dominant Meitei community in Imphal West and the outnumbering Kukis in Kangpokpi. The clash reportedly originated from a dispute over the protection of forestland, with accusations against Meitei youths for allegedly cutting firewood in the Kuki-dominated area.

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Credit: Mint

Manipur Police Commandos Under Attack: Militants Injure One in Moreh Ambush

Simultaneously, in another incident, a convoy of Manipur police commandos was attacked by militants on the Imphal-Moreh highway, near the border with Myanmar. The ambush resulted in one commando sustaining injuries, and the militants also threw explosives at the convoy. Fortunately, there were no fatalities.

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Credit: The Economic Times

Crisis Escalates: Manipur's Ongoing Ethnic Violence Claims Another Life

The latest violence adds to Manipur’s turbulent history of ethnic clashes that began in early May, primarily between the Meiteis, the most populous community, and the tribal Kukis. The toll from these clashes has been staggering, with 197 lives lost, and over 50,000 individuals displaced from their homes.

COTU Claims Forest Protection Sparked Gunfight: Meitei Youths Accused

The Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU), a Kuki organization, claimed that the gunfight erupted over the protection of forestland, alleging that Meitei youths had intruded into Kuki-dominated areas. This version of events underscores the deep-rooted tensions and territorial disputes fueling the ongoing violence.

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Credit: India Today

Kuki-Zo Community Flees Amidst Chaos: Security Forces Urge Return Amid Safety Concerns

In the aftermath of the clashes, residents of Kuki villages, including M Channou, fled their homes in fear. Security forces appealed to villagers to return, emphasizing increased security measures. However, the use of bombs during the day’s events has left the community apprehensive about their safety.

COCOMI's Silence: Imphal-Based Group Mum on Recent Violence in Manipur

Surprisingly, the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), a group of Meitei organizations based in Imphal, remained silent on the recent surge in violence. The lack of response raises questions about the stance and involvement of various groups in addressing and resolving the deep-seated issues contributing to Manipur’s recurring turmoil.

Source: Hindustan Times

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