The Manipur Police on Tuesday formed a five-member Special Investigation Team to investigate the killings of Meitei Muslims in the Thoubal district’s Lilong town.

Four Meitei Pangals, or Meitei Muslims, were shot dead by armed miscreants on Monday. Ten Meitei Muslims, including three minors, were injured in the attack. One of those injured, Moulana Abdur Razzaq, succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday, taking the toll to five.

The attackers allegedly belonged to the state’s majority Meitei community.

The Pangals, who constitute about 8% of Manipur’s population and live around the Imphal valley, have remained neutral in the ethnic clashes between Meiteis and Kukis. The conflict has left over 200 dead and 70,000 displaced since May 3.

According to a senior Assam Rifles officer posted in Imphal, Monday’s attack occurred after the armed miscreants went to Lilong in an attempt to extort money from the residents.

“But the local people surrounded the Meitiei armed people refusing to pay them and prevented the extortion bid,” the officer told Scroll. “This led to Meitei miscreants opening fire at the local people, resulting in the deaths and many bullet injuries.”

The four men who died on Monday have been identified as Makakmayum Sirajuddin, Azad Khan, Mohammad Daulat and Mohammad Hussain.

Following the deaths, Thoubal residents set three vehicles on fire. A curfew was reimposed in the valley districts of Thoubal, Imphal East, Imphal West, Kakching and Bishnupur.