2 killed, 3 injured as fresh clashes erupt in Manipur | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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2 killed, 3 injured as fresh clashes erupt in Manipur

By, Guwahati
Jan 31, 2024 02:27 AM IST

The incident took place near Kadangband village in Lamshang area at the border of Kangpokpi and Imphal West districts

At least two people were killed, three injured and two others went missing after armed groups from both Kuki and Meitei communities engaged in a heavy gunfight in ethnic strife-torn Manipur on Tuesday, people familiar with the matter said.

The injured have been shifted to the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Imphal for treatment, officers said (Reuters file photo)
The injured have been shifted to the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Imphal for treatment, officers said (Reuters file photo)

The incident took place near Kadangband village in Lamshang area at the border of Kangpokpi and Imphal West districts. While Kangpokpi is a Kuki-majority district, Imphal West is dominated by Meiteis.

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“Two individuals were killed in a firing incident between armed miscreants at bordering area of Kangpokpi and Imphal West districts,” the Manipur Police said in a post on X.

The deceased were identified as Nongthongbam Michel Singh (33), and Meishnam Khaba (23), both from Meitei community, police officers said, requesting anonymity. They added that at least two people have gone missing in the incident.

READ | Congress says situation in Manipur turning ‘from bad to worse’, asks Amit Shah to take action

The injured have been shifted to the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Imphal for treatment, officers said. One of the injured has been identified as M Barish, the former state unit president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) youth wing. He is also admitted at RIMS, where his condition is stated to be critical, a senior officer said, requesting anonymity.

Meanwhile, several videos purportedly from Manipur circulated on social media, one of which shows armed miscreants defiling a dead body. HT could not independently verify the veracity of the videos.

“Reports of gunfight between two groups in the border area are confirmed. We are getting conflicting reports about deaths and injuries. We also know about the videos getting circulated, but they have to be checked for authenticity before commenting on them,” Th Kirankumar, deputy commissioner of Imphal West, said.

An army officer posted in the ethnic violence-hit state on condition of anonymity said: “It is confirmed that there was heavy gunfight between two groups of armed miscreants along the border between Kangpokpi and Imphal West districts. We are in receipt of several unconfirmed reports on deaths and injuries and aware of some videos circulating on social media.”

Tuesday’s incident came three days after a Kuki armed village defence volunteer was killed and three others injured in a gunfight between groups from the warring communities in Kangpokpi district on January 27. The gunfight broke out after armed miscreants entered the vicinity of the hill village of Satang Kuki and launched a gun and bomb attack, police had said.

Manipur has been in the throes of ethnic violence between the majority Meitei community and the tribal Kukis since May 3 last year, with other communities increasingly sucked into the violence that has continued unabated. Over the past eight months, at least 210 people have lost their lives, and over 50,000 people have been displaced.

More than half the state’s population of 3.2 million belongs to the Meitei community, while the Kuki community, who make up about 43%, live mostly in the hills.

The widespread ethnic violence has led to creation of community-based armed village defence volunteers as the fault lines have deepened beyond the Meitei -Kuki divide, pitting different communities and groups against each other.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Utpal is a Senior Assistant Editor based in Guwahati. He covers seven states of North-East India and heads the editorial team for the region. He was previously based in Kathmandu, Dehradun and Delhi with Hindustan Times.

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