Fresh violence erupts in Manipur’s Jiribam district; Meitei and tribal organizations accuse each other

Tensions have flared once again in Manipur’s Jiribam district as fresh violence erupted, with accusations flying between Meitei and tribal organizations regarding the triggering of ethnic hostilities. Over 100 houses belonging to both Meitei and tribal communities have been engulfed in flames, while the tragic death of a 59-year-old, Soibam Saratkumar Singh, has further fueled the unrest.

In response to the escalating situation, the district administration has implemented an indefinite curfew in Jiribam and adjoining Tamenglong districts. The unrest stems from protests ignited by Singh’s killing on Thursday night.

Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey met with Chief Minister N. Biren Singh to assess the situation in Jiribam district and urged the CM to take decisive steps to restore peace. Additionally, the Governor emphasized the need to provide essential commodities to those affected by floods in relief camps in Imphal.

The Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), representing the Meitei community, has accused the Kuki community and militants of instigating the violence. They allege that the recent turmoil is part of an orchestrated effort by immigrant Kuki groups to assert their demands for separate administration through terror tactics.

In response, the Indigenous Tribes Advocacy Committee (ITAC) has called for a total shutdown in affected areas to protest the violence, warning Manipur police forces against intervention.

Meanwhile, the Kuki Inpi expressed dismay over the burning of Kuki-Zo-Hmar houses by suspected members of other ethnic groups, despite the imposition of a curfew. They appealed to authorities to take stringent action against perpetrators to prevent further escalation of violence.

To quell the unrest, additional security forces, including Manipur police commandos, have been deployed in Jiribam district. Reports indicate that houses belonging to a particular community were targeted by armed attackers in several villages.

The violence has resulted in the displacement of more than 200 individuals, mainly from the Meitei community, who have sought refuge in relief camps. Jiribam, a district bordering Assam, is home to a diverse population comprising Meiteis, Nagas, Kukis, Muslims, and non-Manipuris.

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