Violence erupted in Manipur’s Jiribam district on Thursday after the body of a Meitei man was found in the Mulargaon area, The Indian Express reported.

Authorities banned five or more people from assembling in the district under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to restore law and order.

The man whose body was found on Thursday was identified as Soibam Sarathkumar Singh. Singh was picked up by “unknown miscreants” when he was returning home from his farm, The Print quoted unidentified police sources as saying.

Singh’s family did not initially file a complaint but only verbally informed the police that he was missing. The police filed a case after his body was found.

Subsequently, mobs allegedly set three to four abandoned Kuki homes on fire. A mob also allegedly surrounded the Jiribam police station and demanded that the police return licenced guns that had been temporarily taken away on account of the Lok Sabha election process.

Jiribam, which has a mixed population of Meiteis and tribal communities, has been relatively peaceful amid the ethnic conflict in the rest of the state. Violence between Manipur’s Meitei and Kuki communities has left at least 224 persons dead and displaced 60,000 people from their homes since the beginning of the clashes in May 2023.

On Friday, the Kuki Inpi, the apex body representing the tribe, said that it condemns the killing of Singh by unknown persons. It also alleged that soon after the incident, Meitei militants abducted a Kuki man whose whereabouts are still unknown.

It also alleged that despite the curfew orders in the district, Kuki homes were attacked.

“Blatantly blaming the Kuki zo tribals for the murder of Mr Saratkumar Singh without any slight evidence and thereby attacking Kuki Zo tribals solely indicates that some people are insistent on bringing upon the Manipur crisis to Jiribam area which had remain at peace till now,” the tribal organisation said.