Manipur conflict continues as two killed and many injured after protest

Two killed and numerous injured after the Kuki-Zo community protests against what the call as the ‘unfair’ dismissal of a Kuki-Zo head constable.

In Manipur’s Churachandpur district, crowds of people, primarily from the Kuki-Zo tribes, gathered to protest over the suspension of a head constable. The constable was suspended after the circulation of a viral selfie featuring the constable alongside some armed men. According to Scroll, the police order for his suspension read, “This [was] tantamount to very grave misconduct, being a member of the disciplined police force.”

In Churchandpur, which is located 65 km from the state capital Imphal, demonstrators were seen circling the Superintendent of Police’s office and calling for the reinstatement of Head Constable Siamlalpaul. Protestors even reportedly set a bus on fire, and the security forces made the use of open fire to disperse the crowd. As of now, two people have been killed and numerous were injured amidst the police firing and unrest. Mobile internet has also been suspended for five days, according to a report by NDTV and numerous protesters sustained injuries. One report stated that among the two killed one was a class 11 student named Thanggunlen Haokip.

The Manipur Police has stated that a crowd of around 300-400 people tried to breach the office of Superintendent of Police (SP) in Churachandpur and did stone pelting. The police further stated that the Rapid Action Force (RAF) also used tear gas shells to scatter the demonstrators in Churachandpur.

While the police have denied these allegations, the Kuki-Zo people have accused the state police of attacking their villages. A statement released by the civil rights group; Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum has also accused the police of collaborating with members of the Meitei community to reportedly loot Kuki-Zo villages. The press release also claims that one person was shot dead by the security forces. It further alleges that the Meitei community also engaged in burning schools and houses in Moreh and that no action is being taken against them. The group has called for the revocation of the suspension order of the constable and that the Superintendent to “leave the district within 24 hours.” The group has called for a shutdown in response to the killing of a civilian.

These recent deaths and unrest came only a few days after two people were killed in separate incidents of firing in the state. One was killed while trying to loot arms from a police training facility and another two people were killed while they were caught in a buffer zone between Imphal East and Kangkopki district. As per a report in the Scroll, buffer zones are created in areas between Meitei-dominated areas and hill regions which are populated by Kuki-zo communities. As of late the ethnic tensions between the two communities have led to gunfights between rival armed groups, who are often self-identifying as ‘village defence volunteers’ who act as armed civilians to guard their villages.

The conflict has engulfed the state since May 2nd 2023. Over 200 people have been killed and more than 60,000 people forced to migrate as a result of the conflict between the Kuki-Zo community and the Meitei community.



Moreh, Manipur: CCTV footage supports claims of locals, show men in uniform indulging in arson, Assam Rifles personnel standing as mute spectators

January 11, another day of violence in Manipur: Three found dead in one district, gun violence in another

Manipur braces for tension as governments mull stripping SC status from Kuki and Chin tribes



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