Manipur: Miscreants targetting Nagas in Imphal; abductions, extortions reported | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Manipur: Miscreants targetting Nagas in Imphal; abductions, extortions reported

Dec 18, 2023 05:41 PM IST

On December 12, a group of 10-12 armed miscreants allegedly abducted four Naga women including the owner of a beauty parlour

Guwahati: Members of the Naga tribes residing in Manipur’s capital Imphal are being targeted by armed miscreants and several instances of abduction and extortion have been reported, a prominent Naga group has claimed.

A police patrol party in a violence-hit area of Manipur, which has witnessed ethnic clashes since May 3 this year. (AFP)
A police patrol party in a violence-hit area of Manipur, which has witnessed ethnic clashes since May 3 this year. (AFP)

Manipur has been roiled by ethnic clashes between Meitei, in majority in Imphal Valley, and tribal Kuki communities, who are dominant in few hill districts, since May 3. The violence has claimed 196 lives and displaced nearly 50,000-Kukis who fled from Imphal Valley and Meiteis who escaped from Kuki-majority districts.

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Apart from a few scattered instances Nagas, who comprise around 24% of the state’s population (Meiteis 53%, Kukis 16 %) and are in majority in few districts outside Imphal, have remained unaffected. But in recent weeks, members of the community have been targetted, the Naga group said.

“Many instances have taken place in which Nagas have been targeted in Imphal Valley and the nearby foothills. Armed miscreants have abducted our people for ransom and business establishments run by Nagas served with extortion demands,” said M Ngaranmi, president of the Naga People’s Union-Imphal (NPUI).

Also Read: CBI files chargesheet in Naga woman’s killing in Manipur

“We have lodged several cases with police regarding this. Such incidents are taking place due to the presence of many weapons (which were looted from police stations and armouries by mobs after the ethnic clashes broke out) in hands of civilians. We appeal to the state government and Centre to ensure our security and urge non-Naga communities to refrain from targeting our people,” he added.

He mentioned two such incidents, which took place last week. On December 12, a group of 10-12 armed miscreants allegedly abducted four Naga women - an owner of a beauty parlour and three employees-from Imphal’s India Bazar area and were whisked away in two vehicles to another location.

The miscreants threatened to kill the women if they didn’t pay 3-4 lakhs as ransom. The women were released the same evening following intervention of local residents. But the demand for ransom kept coming even after that, forcing the owner to shut the beauty parlour. One of the four women, who was allegedly beaten up by the miscreants, is undergoing treatment at a hospital.

Also Read: Relief for Manipur families as bodies laid to rest; but demand for justice remains

In another incident on the same day, seven Naga women including the owner of another beauty parlour were abducted by eight armed miscreants from Chingmeirong in Imphal and taken to another area. There, the manager and owner of the parlour were allegedly beaten up and 5 lakhs demanded as ransom. The seven were released after they paid 2 lakhs.

“On Monday, we held meeting between the abducted girls and the miscreants involved in both instances and settled the matter as we want to maintain communal harmony,” said Ngaranmi without disclosing details of the settlement or the community to which the armed miscreants belonged.

On December 11, a Naga driver was allegedly assaulted by a group of six-seven persons dressed in olive green uniform in Imphal West district. There have been instances of illegal tax being extorted from passenger vehicles. On December 8, two Naga girls were assaulted by a group of unidentified miscreants in Bishnupur district.

“We have received some complaints of instances that have taken place in our district. Investigations are underway in all cases and action will be taken as per law against those responsible,” said a police officer in Imphal requesting anonymity.

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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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