Indefinite curfew imposed in Manipur’s Jiribam after incidents of fresh violence | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Indefinite curfew imposed in Manipur’s Jiribam after incidents of fresh violence

Jun 08, 2024 03:27 AM IST

Since May 3 last year, Manipur has witnessed clashes between the two communities, which has claimed at least 225 lives to date.

Imphal: The authorities in Manipur’s Jiribam district on Thursday imposed an indefinite curfew as security preventive measures to avoid unwanted incidents in the aftermath of a person found beheaded, officials said.

Army personnel patrol an area in Manipur
Army personnel patrol an area in Manipur

S Saratkumar, a resident of Jiribam district, was found beheaded on Thursday after he went missing, following which an irate mob allegedly set ablaze three abandoned villages belonging to the Kuki-Zo community in the district on the same night.

In retaliation, two residents belonging to the Meitei community at Leishabithol and Jiribam were also set ablaze, reportedly by Kuki militants.

Also Read | 59-year-old man found beheaded in Manipur, houses set on fire

The situation remained tense as locals stormed Jiribam police station demanding to hand over the licensed arms that were seized ahead of the 18th Lok Sabha election after the model election code of conduct was imposed.

The arms were later handed over to the respective licensed holders after necessary procedures.

Some Kuki Zo residents who had returned to the nearby villages of Jiribam district in the past weeks have again moved to safer areas of nearby areas of the district and Assam after Thursday’s incident.

Since May 3 last year, Manipur has witnessed clashes between the two communities, which has claimed at least 225 lives to date and uprooted around 50,000 people, many of whom are still residing in relief centres.

Also Read | 75 women rescued from Kuki militants after 2-hour gunfight in Manipur

Kuki Inpi Jiribam-Tamenglong-Noney (KIJTN), an apex body of the Kuki community, vehemently condemned the killing of Saratkumar by unknown miscreants. It also demanded to book the culprits at the earliest.

Besides, it also appealed to release L Thianmuang, a resident of the Jiribam district belonging to the Kuki community unconditionally to prevent further aggravation of the situation. Thianmuang was picked up by some unknown miscreants wearing black outfits from his residence at around 6pm on Thursday.

KIJTN appealed to the general public, civil society organisations and community leaders, particularly the Kuki Zo and Meitei, not to aggravate the situation but to stand for peace.

On Friday, amid the curfew being imposed, some rounds of firing were heard near Jiribam town. According to the people familiar with the matter, the rounds were fired in the air by village volunteers of Jiribam as warning shots to prevent Kuki militants.

Kuki National Front- Military Council (KNF-MC), a Kuki militant outfit, clarified on Friday that Thongminthang Haokip alias Thangboi Haokip alias Roger, who was arrested by a team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Imphal airport is not related to the outfit.

NIA had stated earlier that Thangboi had admitted that he is a member of KNF-MC and United Tribal Volunteer (UTV).

Meanwhile, in a fresh incident on Friday, suspected Kuki militants attacked Meitei village with country-made bombs in Sekmai, Imphal West district, Manipur, which is about 25 kilometres from Imphal.

The incident took place around 11.45am at Pangaltabi along the Sekmai River under the jurisdiction of the Sekmai police station. People mentioned above said that the bombs were fired towards the Meitei labourers who were working in the Sekmai River to collect quarry and sand.

The labourers escaped the spot to nearby safer places as the bomb attack was followed by several rounds of gunshots.

No causality has been reported and Manipur police have taken security measures in and around the area.

Earlier similar incidents had occurred at Andro, Imphal East district, before the recent Lok Sabha election.

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