Nearly 100 abandoned houses, including that of a Congress MLA, were set on fire by suspected Kuki militants in Manipur’s Kakching district on Sunday, The New Indian Express reported.
The northeastern state has witnessed ethnic clashes between Meiteis and Kukis since May 3 that have left at least 98 persons dead, over 300 injured and thousands displaced.
On Sunday, a person was also injured in the district’s Sugnu area in a firing incident, according to the police, reported The Indian Express. The area had witnessed large-scale violence, including incidents of firing and burning of houses, on May 28.
“When the rest of the state was burning, Sugnu was the only place where both Kukis and Meitei were living peacefully,” said Chanthoi, a woman leader from the area, according to The Indian Express. “This was possible because a peace committee was formed and both sides agreed to restrain themselves, until suspected Kuki militants attacked villages in our area on May 28.”
Congress MLA K Ranjit was in Sugnu, along with three other Bharatiya Janata Party legislators, when his house was set ablaze.
The violence in Kakching district came on the day when the Centre appointed Ajai Lamba, the former chief justice of the Gauhati High Court, as the head of a three-member committee that will investigate the violence in Manipur.
The decision to form the panel was announced by Home Minister Amit Shah on June 1. The committee, which will be based in Imphal, is tasked with looking into the reasons behind the violence and the sequence of events leading up to it. It will also investigate whether there were any lapses or dereliction of duty by officials.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, residents of Sugnu told five legislators, including minister Yumnam Khemchand, that the government has failed to protect their lives. Alleging that the Assam Rifles were not taking any action against the suspected militants, the residents demanded that the nearby camp of the paramilitary force be relocated from the area.
Khemchand, who was in the area with the other legislators to stock of the situation, told the The New Indian Express that panic has set in among the residents after the incidents of violence.
“The Kuki militants are indulging in violence in the foothill areas,” he said. “They come down the hills to carry out the attack. Sometimes, they fire from the hills.”