Kuki group blocks NH2 again after fresh deaths; Himanta in Manipur for talks - Hindustan Times
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Kuki group blocks NH2 again after fresh deaths; Himanta in Manipur for talks

Jun 10, 2023 02:58 PM IST

Three persons were killed and two others injured when gunmen dressed in military uniform attacked a Kuki dominated village during the wee hours of Friday

The blockade of a section of the Imphal-Dimapur national highway 2 (NH2) in Manipur, which was temporarily lifted on June 4, has been reimposed again by a Kuki organisation following fresh violence in the state, which claimed three lives and injured two others, people familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

ecurity personnel conducting joint combing operations in Manipur on Friday. (ANI)
ecurity personnel conducting joint combing operations in Manipur on Friday. (ANI)

The Sadar Hills unit of the Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU) blocked a 13-km stretch of NH2 in Kangpokpi district from June 9 night after three persons, including an elderly woman, were killed and two others injured when gunmen dressed in military uniform attacked Khoken, a Kuki dominated village on the boundary between Kangpokpi and Imphal West districts, during the wee hours of Friday.

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Following an appeal by Union home minister Amit Shah to remove blockades on NH2 to ensure smooth supply to essentials to the violence-hit state, COTU on June 4 decided to temporarily suspend the blockade, which started on May 3, for seven days, beginning June 5, as a “goodwill gesture”.

Also Read |Manipur violence: Centre sets up committee to facilitate peace-making process

The Kuki group mentioned in a statement issued on June 4 that only essential commodities and medical supplies would be allowed to ply on the highway with the escort of central forces between 10am and 2pm.

Also Read | After three days of fragile peace, fresh attack hits Manipur

“If attacks are carried out on Kuki villages by armed persons during the suspension, the committee will be compelled to look into the matter,” said the COTU statement.

At least 105 people have been killed, over 300 injured and nearly 40,000 displaced in ethnic clashes between Meitei and Kuki groups since May 3. Meitei comprise 53% of Manipur’s population while Kuki, who are tribals, are around 16% of the state’s population.

Meanwhile, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is also the convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led platform of anti-Congress parties in the region, landed in Imphal on Saturday to hold a series of talks with different stakeholders.

Sarma met his Manipur counterpart N Biren Singh and discussed the present situation in the state. He is also holding talks with MLAs from the state. Details of the meetings are not available yet.

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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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