Meitei, tribal organisations blame each other for fresh violence in Manipur

The district administration has imposed a curfew in Jiribam and adjoining Tamenglong districts for an indefinite period

Representative image of violence in Manipur (photo: IANS)
Representative image of violence in Manipur (photo: IANS)


After the fresh violence in Manipur’s Jiribam district, Meitei and tribal organisations on Saturday, 8 June, accused each other of triggering the ethnic hostilities.

Amidst serious tension in the Jiribam district since Thursday night over 100 houses of both Meitei and tribal communities have been burnt in a large number of villagers, while one person has also been killed.

The district administration has imposed a curfew in Jiribam and adjoining Tamenglong districts for an indefinite period after protests erupted over the killing of 59-year-old Soibam Saratkumar Singh in Jiribam on Thursday.

Officials in Imphal said that Manipur governor Anusuiya Uikey met chief minister N. Biren Singh at the Manipur Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday and took stock of the prevailing situation in Jiribam district, and urged the CM to take all possible steps to bring the situation under control.

The governor also asked CM Singh to provide essential commodities to the flood-affected people in Imphal's relief camps.

Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), an apex body of the Meitei community, on Saturday accused the Kuki community and militants of “triggering” the violence.

It said that the recent violence appears to be an orchestrated and provocative action “by immigrant Kuki groups”, aiming to further their demands for separate administration through terror tactics.

“Despite the Kuki Inpi Jiribam's attempts to defend their position, evidence points to the involvement of Kuki Narco-Terrorist groups in the abduction and murder of a Meetei man,” COCOMI said

It urged the central government to take immediate and sincere actions to resolve the crisis.

Indigenous Tribes Advocacy Committee (ITAC) has called a total shutdown in the trouble-torn areas to protest the violence and said that the tribals will no longer remain silent in the face of “such aggression”.

The ITAC warned Manipur police forces and commandos not to operate in the areas. “Failure to comply with this warning will be retaliated as deemed appropriate and ITAC will not be responsible for any untoward incidents in this regard,” it said.

Another tribal organisation the Kuki Inpi dismayed at the “provocative attitude and action of burning Kuki -Zo-Hmar houses by suspected members of Arambai Tenggols and Meetei militants” at Uchathol Hmar veng, Vengnuam Paite Veng and Songkoveng.

It said that the Kuki Inpi is also greatly dismayed as to how Kuki Zo houses could be attacked and burnt the whole night in spite of imposing a curfew and appealed to the concerned authority to be stringent upon miscreants creating havoc in the area so that further escalation of violence may be prevented.

To prevent the violence additional security forces including Manipur police commandos were deployed in the Jiribam district, officials said on Saturday.

A police official in Imphal said on Saturday that the houses of a particular community were burnt at Lamtai Khunou, Dibong Khunou, Nunkhal and Begra villages in the Jiribam district allegedly by 'armed attackers'.

More than 200 people, mostly belonging to the Meitei community, have taken shelter in a newly set up relief camp after violence broke out following the killing of Soibam Saratkumar Singh, who belongs to the Meitei community.

Bordering Assam, Jiribam is a mixed-populated district inhabited by Meiteis, Nagas, Kukis, Muslims and non-Manipuris and the district had so far largely remained unaffected by the ethnic violence which ravaged Manipur since 3 May 2023.

The ethnic conflict between Meiteis and Kuki-Zomi in several districts of Manipur has so far claimed over 220 lives in both communities.

Over 1,500 people in both communities and over 70,000 people have been displaced from their homes and villages in the over-a-year-long ethnic violence.

The rioting also has left thousands of houses, government and non-government properties, and religious structures destroyed or damaged.

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