Manipur Latest Update: Manipur, a state in north-eastern India, has been witnessing a wave of deadly violence since early May 2023. The clashes are between the Meitei community, the dominant ethnic group in the state, and the tribal communities, mainly the Kuki and Zo peoples, who live in the hilly regions. The conflict stems from the Meiteis’ demand for tribal status, which would give them more rights and benefits, and the tribals’ fear of losing their land and resources. The violence has claimed more than 70 lives, injured hundreds, and displaced thousands. The Indian government has deployed troops and imposed curfews to restore peace, but the situation remains tense and volatile.
What is The Manipur Latest Update on Violence?
Here is a Manipur Latest Update on ongoing Manipur violence:
- At least nine people were killed and 10 injured in a clash between rival ethnic groups in the Khamlek area of Manipur’s Imphal East on Tuesday. The victims were reportedly attacked by men dressed in khaki uniforms.
- The violence was triggered by the demand for affirmative action by the state’s Meitei community, who are the dominant community in the low lands. The tribal groups, who mostly live in the hills, opposed the extension of their benefits to the Meiteis.
- The state government has extended the internet ban till June 15 to prevent the spread of rumours and misinformation. Section 144 has been imposed in several violence-hit areas of the state.
- The Centre has set up a peace committee headed by the governor of Manipur and comprising of the chief minister, lawmakers, political leaders and civil society representatives. The committee will try to restore normalcy and harmony in the state.
- The CBI has taken over six cases related to the Manipur violence and formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe them.
- The Centre has also approved a Rs 101 crore package for the displaced people in Manipur. The package will provide relief and rehabilitation assistance to those who have fled their homes due to the violence.
Summary Of The Manipur Violence Story Till Date
- Manipur is a state in northeastern India with a population of about 3 million people.
- Manipur has had intercommunal tensions and disputes over land and demographics for decades. It last witnessed its communal fault lines give rise to violent clashes in 1993, when Hindu Meiteis clashed with Pangals (Muslims) in violence that also affected the tribal Nagas and Kukis.
- Meiteis are the predominant ethnic group in Manipur and constitute about 53 per cent of the population. They mostly live in the valley areas and follow Hinduism or Sanamahism (an indigenous religion).
- Kukis and Nagas are the two major tribal groups in Manipur and constitute about 37 per cent of the population. They mostly live in the hill areas and follow Christianity.
- The main bone of contention between the Meiteis and the tribals is the demand for the inclusion of Meiteis in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category, which would grant them certain constitutional benefits and rights, such as reservation in education and employment, protection from land alienation, and access to welfare schemes.
- The tribals oppose this demand, fearing that it would dilute their own privileges and autonomy, and lead to encroachment of their ancestral lands by the Meiteis. They also accuse the Meiteis of dominating the state politics and economy, and marginalizing their interests and identity.
Timeline of events
- April 27, 2023: Prior to Chief Minister Biren Singh’s planned visit to Churachandpur district, an area primarily inhabited by tribal communities, unidentified individuals set fire to the open gymnasium that he was supposed to inaugurate.
- April 28, 2023: Tribal groups in Manipur have organized a 12-hour total shutdown as a form of protest against the survey conducted by the state government regarding reserved forests/protected forests and the potential eviction of villagers. They also expressed their displeasure after the demolition of churches in Imphal by the state government during an eviction drive last month. Clashes between protesters and security forces broke out, with police using tear gas shells to disperse the mob. Section 144 was imposed along with a five-day suspension of internet services.
- May 3, 2023: Thousands turned up for the Tribal Solidarity March called by the All Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM) to protest against the inclusion of Meiteis in the ST category. Violence erupted during the rally in Torbung area of Churachandpur district. Approximately 11 civilians sustained injuries, and tragically, two individuals lost their lives due to gunshot wounds in Saikul, Kangpokpi district. The clashes between Meiteis and tribal protesters prompted a swift response from state security forces, who arrived at the location. As a result, prohibitory orders were enforced in eight districts to maintain public order.
- May 4, 2023: BJP MLA Vungzagin Valte from the Thanlon constituency experienced an assault perpetrated by a group of individuals who were evidently upset. He was on his way to his official quarters after attending a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Biren Singh on the ongoing law and order situation in Manipur.
- May 24, 2023: An angry mob damaged the home of Manipur minister Konthoujam Govindas in Bishnupur district, claiming that the state has not yet done enough to safeguard their community from armed terrorists from another community. Govindas is a senior BJP leader and holds the Youth Affairs and Sports portfolio.
- May 25, 2023: A mob tried to rampage the house of Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Education RK Ranjan Singh at Kongba in East Imphal district. The situation was promptly addressed by a joint team consisting of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Manipur Police. They swiftly arrived at the scene and successfully dispersed the gathering before it could make its way into the residence.
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