Unidentified miscreants set the official residence of Manipur minister Nemcha Kipgen on fire on Wednesday night in the Lamphel area of the Imphal West district.

No one was present at the Bharatiya Janata Party MLA’s home when it was torched, PTI reported. Firefighters doused the blaze before it could spread to neighbouring buildings.

Kipgen, who represents the Kangpokpi seat, is the only woman minister in the Manipur Cabinet. She was among 10 Kuki MLAs who urged the Centre to create a separate administration for the community on May 12.

Manipur has been witnessing ethnic clashes between the Meitei and Kuki communities since May 3. The violence has left more than 100 persons dead, over 300 injured and thousands displaced. Nearly 60,000 are taking shelter in 350 relief camps.

On Tuesday night, nine persons were killed and 10 were injured in fresh violence in the Aigejang village, situated along the border of Kangpokpi and Imphal East districts. Those who died were said to be “youth volunteers from the Meitei side”, an additional superintendent of police in Imphal East told Scroll.

The killings followed a number of arson cases in the preceding 36 hours, a senior Army official added.

After the latest round of tensions, curfew relaxations were reduced in Imphal. In the Imphal East and Imphal West districts, the curfew relaxation period was from 5 am to 6 pm earlier and is now from 5 am to 9 am, PTI reported.

A curfew remains in force in 11 out of 16 districts of Manipur. Internet services have been suspended in the entire state.

The Central government has constituted a peace committee in Manipur to facilitate a truce among various ethnic groups. The panel is headed by the state’s Governor Anusuiya Uikey and includes Chief Minister N Biren Singh, a few state ministers, MPs, MLAs, and leaders from various political parties.

But groups representing both the Meitei and Kuki communities have said that they will not take part in the work of the peace committee, expressing a lack of faith in it.

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