Imphal, June 02, 2023: At least 98 people have been killed and over 300 injured since ethnic clashes broke out in Manipur last month. Clashes broke out after a Tribal Solidarity March in 10 districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Since then, deadly violence has raged in several parts of the state. The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.
According to official figures, over 4,000 cases of arson have been reported since violence gripped Manipur. During the clashes between Meitei and Kuki communities, properties worth crores were torched and thousands were forced to evacuate.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals -- Nagas and Kukis -- constitute another 40 percent of the population and reside in the hill districts.
Currently, over 10,000 army and Assam rifles personnel have been deployed in the state to maintain peace.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who concluded his four-day visit to the violence-hit state yesterday, has said that a judicial probe headed by a retired high court chief justice to inquire into clashes will be announced soon.
A peace committee under the Governor of Manipur Anusuiya Uikey with representatives of all political parties, the warring Kuki and Meitei communities and social organisations will also be set up.
Amit Shah also announced a CBI probe to investigate FIRs alleging five criminal conspiracies and one general conspiracy behind the violence in Manipur.
Talking about the origin of the clashes which rocked Manipur, Amit Shah had said ethnic rioting began after the Manipur High Court on April 29 "hurriedly" sought the views of the state government on granting Scheduled Tribe status to a community.
Courtesy: India Today