Armed Group Clash Claims 2 Lives In Manipur Just 6 Days Before Lok Sabha Elections 2024

(MENAFN- Live Mint) "Two individuals lost their lives in a clash between two armed groups in Manipur's Imphal East district on Saturday, as per police exchange of gunfire occurred near the border of Kangpokpi district, PTI reported citing a police official.“Additional state and central forces have been rushed in to contain the situation,” he said Read: Meitei and Kuki groups in Manipur demand government intervention amid escalating violenceIt is to be further noted that the violence occurred just six days before the commencement of the Lok Sabha elections in Manipur, adding to the concerns about stability and security in the region. In Manipur, general elections will be conducted in two phases on 19 April and 26 April. The north-eastern state has two Lok Sabha seats - Inner Manipur and Outer Manipur to a report by Hindustan Times, the gunbattle on Saturday morning erupted around 9 am as militants from opposing sides exchanged heavy gunfire in a border area between Kuki and Meitei villages reported citing sources that the conflict began in the vicinity of Kamu Saichang village. It's worth noting that villages in Kangpokpi, where the clash took place, are in proximity to Meitei villages like Moirangpur in Imphal East. Meiteis predominantly inhabit valley districts such as Imphal East, while Kukis primarily reside in hill districts like Kangpokpi Read: Manipur CM Biren Singh to set up all-tribe panel to re-consider Scheduled Tribe status for Kukis“The area where the gunfight happened is the border between Kuki and Meitei villages of the two districts. It has happened in the jungle area of the abandoned village on both sides. Security forces rushed to the hills where the gunfight happened. Currently, the situation is under control,” an official aware of the matter told HT context of ethnic tensions in Manipur is crucial to understanding the underlying issues. Last year, on May 3, ethnic clashes erupted, resulting in the tragic loss of at least 219 lives. These clashes were triggered by a 'Tribal Solidarity March' organized in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status Manipur, the Meiteis make up approximately 53% of the population and primarily reside in the Imphal Valley, while Nagas and Kukis, collectively referred to as Tribals, constitute a little over 40% of the population and primarily inhabit the hill districts.(With inputs from agencies)


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