SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

At least nine killed in clashes in India’s Manipur

According to the police, the recent clashes between rival ethnic groups in Manipur, a northeastern state of India, have resulted in the deaths of at least nine individuals. On Wednesday, security forces continued their efforts to locate and seize illegal weapons.
Violence between members of the Kuki ethnic group, who mostly live in the hills, and Meiteis, the dominant community in the lowlands, erupted on May 3, sparked by resentment over economic benefits and quotas in government jobs and education reserved for hill people.
At least 80 people have been killed and more than 40,000 have been displaced in the state on the Myanmar border that is governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party.

K Shivakanta Singh, a senior police official in the state capital of Imphal, told reporters that a gun battle between rival factions erupted on Tuesday and went on for hours.

“We have reports of at least nine deaths and 10 injured so far,” Singh said. “The situation remains volatile.”

Federal security force reinforcements have been sent to the state and they have been searching for illegal weapons.

Civil society organisations from the Meitei and Kuki communities have refused to join a peace committee set up by the federal government in the brokering peace.

On May 3, members of the hill tribes including Kuki launched a protest against the possible extension of their benefits to the dominant Meiteis.

Meiteis account for half of Manipur’s population and extending limited affirmative action quotas to them would mean they would get a share in education and government jobs reserved for Kukis and others.

Manipur shares a nearly 400-km (250-mile) border with Myanmar and a coup there in 2021 pushed thousands of refugees into the Indian state.

Kukis share ethnic lineage with Myanmar’s Chin community and Meiteis feared they would be outnumbered by the arrival of the refugees.

    Source:
  • alarabiya