In the Kangpokpi district of Manipur, three individuals belonging to the Kuki-Zo community were tragically killed on September 12, in what appears to be an attack by militants associated with banned terror groups. The incident occurred during the morning hours and highlights the persistent violence that has plagued this region.
Reports suggest that the ambush took place in the bordering areas of Imphal West and Kangpopki districts, specifically between Ireng and Karam Vaiphei villages in the Kanggui region. While details remain scant, local officials have confirmed that unidentified assailants opened fire on the victims at approximately 8:20 am.
This incident follows closely on the heels of a violent clash in Pallel, located in the Tengnoupal district, on September 8. During this clash, three individuals lost their lives, and over 50 people sustained injuries. An exchange of gunfire between security forces and armed individuals erupted in the early hours of that day, resulting in one fatality. The injured were rushed to medical facilities in Imphal for treatment.
These unfortunate events are part of a broader pattern of ethnic violence that has afflicted Manipur since May 3 of this year. Tragically, more than 160 people have lost their lives in this ongoing unrest, and hundreds more have suffered injuries.
The root cause of this violence can be traced back to tensions surrounding the demand for Scheduled Tribe status by the majority Meitei community, which constitutes approximately 53 percent of Manipur’s population and predominantly resides in the Imphal valley. On the other hand, tribal communities, including Nagas and Kukis, make up around 40 percent of the population and primarily inhabit the hill districts.
The violence initially erupted when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organized in the hill districts as a protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status. This contentious issue has ignited longstanding ethnic divisions and triggered a series of clashes and confrontations in the region.
The situation in Manipur remains tense and volatile, with continued outbreaks of violence threatening the safety and security of its residents. It is imperative that authorities take swift and effective measures to address the underlying issues and work towards a peaceful resolution to prevent further loss of life and injuries in this troubled region.