Imphal: The death toll in the ethnic violence that engulfed Manipur has gone up to 54, officials told news agency PTI. This comes after four people were shot dead in Manipur’s Churachandpur when security forces were carrying out evacuation of Meiteis in the area and another was killed in Imphal.
Of the 54 officially declared dead, 16 bodies were kept in the morgue of the Churachandpur district hospital while 15 bodies were in Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal East district, the officials added. The Regional Institute of Medical Sciences at Lamphel in Imphal West district reported 23 dead, the official informed.
The shooting in Churachandpur comes after days of fierce clashes between the state’s majority Meitei community and the Kuki tribe, which had also originated in the area on Wednesday. The shooting took place when tribals allegedly tried to intervene in the evacuation of Meiteis from the area.
Violence in Manipur first broke out during the course of a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ called by the All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur (ATSUM). The march was organised in protest against the demand for inclusion of the state’s Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category, following an April 19 Manipur High Court directive.
4 shot dead in Churachandpur, tax assistant killed in Imphal
Four people were shot dead in Manipur’s Churachandpur when security forces were carrying out evacuation of Meiteis in the area. Meanwhile, the IRS (Indian Revenue Service) Association said a tax assistant identified as Letminthang Haokip had been killed in Imphal. “No cause or ideology can justify the killing of an innocent public servant on duty,” they tweeted.
An Assam Rifles official in Imphal said he had received inputs that a gathering of “80-200” people had taken place and that four people died in the firing. “Evacuation of people from different parts of the state is constantly going on,” he said, adding that the blockading of roads continues to be common in different parts of the state.
A senior official from the central security forces also confirmed four people had died, while a senior police official from the district put the number at three.
Amid violence, IndiGo to operate 2 special additional flights from Imphal to Kolkata
As the situation in Manipur intensifies, carrier IndiGo announced on Saturday that it will waive off the rescheduling and cancellation charges on flights to and from Imphal from May 4 to May 7. The airline also announced that it would operate two special additional flights from Imphal to Kolkata on May 6.
More than 1,100 people from Manipur enter Assam
More than 1,100 people from Manipur’s Jiribam district and surrounding areas have crossed the inter-state border to enter Assam’s Cachar district, following violence in the neighbouring state, news agency PTI reported.
Most of the migrants are from the Kuki community and they fear that their homes back in Manipur have been destroyed by the groups which attacked them on Thursday night when they fled to safety in Cachar.
Manipur violence, Manipur shoot at sight order, Manipur clashes, Manipur news, Manipur fighting news, Manipur news today, Biren Singh Violence erupted in Manipur between the Kuki tribe and the majority Meitei community on May 3 following a tribal solidarity march called by All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur against a High Court order passed last month by a single judge, directing the state government to grant ST status to the Meiteis. (Express Photo)
Church bodies call for calm in Manipur, say Christians being targeted
Christian organisations across the country Friday appealed for calm amid the violence unfolding in Manipur between the Kuki-Zomi and Meitei communities.
The United Christian Forum of North East India said a power struggle among different groups has led to “conflicts, violence, arson and loss of life” and invited all churches to join “a collective effort to pray for peace” on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Reverend Dr Peter Machado, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Bengaluru, and a leading figure in India’s Catholic community, said Christians were being targeted in the state.
Nitish seeks security for Bihar people living in violence-hit Manipur
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has asked the chief secretary to talk to his counterpart in violence-hit Manipur to provide adequate security to people from the state living there.
He also asked the chief secretary to make arrangements for the safe return of those who are willing to come back to their native places in the eastern state.
“The chief minister has asked chief secretary Amir Subhani to speak to his counterpart in Manipur so that adequate security can be provided to the people from Bihar living there, following the violence in the north-eastern state,” a statement issued by the CMO said on Friday.