The toll due to the violence along the border of the Kuki-dominated Churachandpur and Meitei-dominated Bishnupur districts rose to eight on Thursday.
A gunfight between members of the Meitei and Kuki-Zo communities began on August 29, and intense firing was still taking place on Thursday evening.
Officials told Scroll that six persons died in the firing in the past 24 hours alone – three each from the Kuki-Zo and Meitei communities.
Six of those who died since the violence broke out have been identified as Jangminlun Gangte, Laibujam Inao, LS Mangboi Lhungdim, Hemkholun Guite, Paokam Kingpen and Pebam Deban. Two of the dead are yet to be identified.
Gangte, a Kuki village defence volunteer, and Inao, a member of the Meitei community, died on Tuesday. Lhungdim, a 42-year-old poet, and Guite, who was described by locals as a village defence volunteer, were injured on Wednesday and succumbed to their injuries on Thursday.
Lhungdim – who had written a song during the conflict called “I gam hilo ham”, which means “Isn’t this our land?” – died while being taken to Aizawl from Churachandpur. He and Guite had sustained head injuries in a bomb blast, and had suffered brain haemorrage.
Kingpen, a 45-year-old resident of the Koite village in Churachandpur, died of a bullet injury on Thursday afternoon.
Deban, a 51-year-old member of the Meitei community from Bishnupur’s Thamnapokpi, died on Thursday afternoon. Shayam Kumar, a resident of Moirang, said Deban was among three Meiteis killed in day-long “mortar and gun attacks” by Kukis in Bishnupur. The other two persons who died have not yet been identified.
The deaths have raised tensions in the border areas of Churachandpur and Bishnpur.
The Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum, which represents the interest of the tribal community in the state, on Thursday called for an emergency shutdown saying that several areas such as Lonphai, Khousabung, Kangvai, and Sugnu were under attack.
“Emergency services like medical, police, water electricity, and press are exempted,” they said.
Manipur has witnessed widespread violence between the Kuki and Meitei communities since May 3.
Over 195 people have been killed in the ongoing ethnic conflict and nearly 60,000 persons have been forced to flee their homes since the violence broke out. The state has reported cases of rape and murder, and mobs have looted police armoury and set several homes on fire despite the heavy presence of central security forces.