Tensions rise in Manipur, as eight people were killed and eighteen injured between communal clashes. Situation escalated in Manipur’s Bishnupur and Churachandpur districts following continuous gunfight between members of the Kuki and Meitei tribes since August 29. Consequently, a complete shutdown was called in areas of Churachandpur on August 31.
In the wake of unprecedented episodes of violence; the Chief Minister N Biren Singh termed the situation as “critical” and requested the general public to maintain calm. On the other hand, fresh incidents of gunfiring were reported also from adjoining Chingphei and Khousabung areas in the Churachandpur district.
Manipur’s Chief Minister N Biren Singh, wo termed the present situation in the state, “critical” has said that he state was in a critical stage and the prevailing situation has compelled him to take each and every step cautiosuly.
Since, the violence erupted, more than 160 people have been killed and several hundreds injured as a result of ethnic violence which broke out in Manipur . Situation became took a turn when “Tribal Solidarity March” was organised by the Kukis in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status. The Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s total population and are settled in the Imphal valley mostly. While other tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mostly in the hill districts.
Manipur is currently witnessing a fresh spell of heavy exchange of gunfire between two warring sides; the Kukis and Meiteis in the borders of Bishnupur and Churachandpur district for past five days after a temporary calm for about a fortnight. As many as five deaths were reported on August 31, the total death count in this fresh spell of firing and shelling from August 29 till 31st has gone up to eight. Police have confirmed the death toll, while on the other hand, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum ( ITLF) – a joint body of the Kuki-Zo tribes today declared an ‘Emergency Shutdown’ in Churachandpur district after several Kuki-Zo-dominated areas of Manipur came under attack.