At least 98 people have been killed and 310 left injured in the ethnic clashes between the Meitei and Kuki communities in Manipur, the state government said on Friday.
The violence first broke out on May 3 after thousands of people participated in a protest march to oppose the demand of the Meiteis to be included in the Scheduled Tribes category.
The protestors included the Kukis, one of the larger tribal communities in Manipur. For months now, they have been at loggerheads with the state government, and, in particular with Chief Minister N Biren Singh, who the community claims harbours Meitei “majoritarian” sentiments.
Since the protest march, large-scale violence has been reported in the North Eastern state, including attacks on state legislators and ministers’ homes, making the situation more precarious.
On Friday, the chief minister’s office said in a statement that 37,450 residents are currently taking shelter in 272 camps.
Over the last one month, the Manipur Police have registered 3,734 cases and arrested 65 persons for their involvement in the unrest, the statement said.
Separately, the Manipur Police said that 150 weapons have been surrendered after Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s appeal, The Economic Times reported. The surrendered weapons include self-loading rifles, carbine, AK and INSAS rifles, light machine guns, pistols, M16 rifles, smoke guns/tear gas, stun guns and grenade launchers.
“Stringent legal action will be taken against any person if caught with snatched arms and ammunition,” the government warned in its statement.
The statement said that the situation is normal in most of the districts and meetings will be held with civil society organisations to resolve the conflict among communities.
The curfew has been relaxed for 12 hours in Imphal West, Imphal East, Bishnupur and Pherzawl, for 11 hours in Kangpokpi, for 10 hours in Churachandpur and Chandel, for eight hours in Jiribam and Tenugopal, and for seven hours in Thoubal and Kakching districts.
The curfew has been lifted from Senapati, Ukhrul, Kamjong, Noney and Tamenglong districts.