The bodies of 64 persons who were killed in ethnic clashes between Kukis and Meiteis in Manipur were handed over to their families on Thursday.

The bodies had been lying in mortuaries since the conflict broke out. Sixty of them were Kukis while four of them were Meiteis.

Forty-one bodies that were in the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences and Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal were brought to the Churachandpur district, while 19 were taken to Kangpokpi, an official told Scroll. Four bodies of Meiteis that were at a morgue in Churachandpur were brought to Imphal.

The Committee on Tribal Unity said that the burial rites of the “fallen Kuki-Zo brethren” will be held on Friday.

The organisation has called for a 12-hour shutdown in the Sadar Hills area of Kangpokpi from 5 am to 5 pm for the funeral services and appealed to the general public to cooperate.

Manipur has been gripped by ethnic clashes between the Meitei and Kuki communities since early May. Over 175 people have been killed since the ethnic conflict broke out, according to police records. Nearly 60,000 persons have been forced to flee their homes.

A Supreme Court-appointed committee in its report on November 20 said that of the 94 unclaimed bodies in three state mortuaries, 88 had been identified. However, civil society organisations had been “exerting pressure” on their relatives not to accept the bodies, the panel said.

Following this, the court directed the Manipur government to ensure a dignified burial or cremation of all those killed in the ethnic violence in the state by December 11, reported the Hindustan Times.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said that either the families can “accept the bodies and perform their last rites at any of the nine burial sites identified by the Manipur government, or the state can do the same in accordance with the municipal law.”

An official said on Thursday that 24 more bodies, believed to be of people belonging to the Kuki-Zo community, are currently at a morgue in Churachandpur. “We are expecting that these bodies would also be claimed and the last rites performed,” the official was quoted as saying by PTI.