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Business News/ News / India/  Armed group clash claims 2 lives in Manipur just 6 days before Lok Sabha elections 2024
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Armed group clash claims 2 lives in Manipur just 6 days before Lok Sabha elections 2024

A gun battle in Manipur resulted in the deaths of two individuals. The clash between militants from Kuki and Meitei villages heightened tensions. The incident occurred before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, prompting security measures to ensure stability in the region.

Manipur has been in the throes of a violent conflict since May last year. (ANI) (HT_PRINT)Premium
Manipur has been in the throes of a violent conflict since May last year. (ANI) (HT_PRINT)

Two individuals lost their lives in a clash between two armed groups in Manipur's Imphal East district on Saturday, as per police.

The exchange of gunfire occurred near the border of Kangpokpi district, PTI reported citing a police official.

“Additional state and central forces have been rushed in to contain the situation," he said.

Also Read: Meitei and Kuki groups in Manipur demand government intervention amid escalating violence

It is to be further noted that the violence occurred just six days before the commencement of the Lok Sabha elections in Manipur, adding to the concerns about stability and security in the region. In Manipur, general elections will be conducted in two phases on 19 April and 26 April. The north-eastern state has two Lok Sabha seats - Inner Manipur and Outer Manipur.

According to a report by Hindustan Times, the gunbattle on Saturday morning erupted around 9 am as militants from opposing sides exchanged heavy gunfire in a border area between Kuki and Meitei villages.

HT reported citing sources that the conflict began in the vicinity of Kamu Saichang village. It's worth noting that villages in Kangpokpi, where the clash took place, are in proximity to Meitei villages like Moirangpur in Imphal East. Meiteis predominantly inhabit valley districts such as Imphal East, while Kukis primarily reside in hill districts like Kangpokpi.

Also Read: Manipur CM Biren Singh to set up all-tribe panel to re-consider Scheduled Tribe status for Kukis

“The area where the gunfight happened is the border between Kuki and Meitei villages of the two districts. It has happened in the jungle area of the abandoned village on both sides. Security forces rushed to the hills where the gunfight happened. Currently, the situation is under control," an official aware of the matter told HT.

The context of ethnic tensions in Manipur is crucial to understanding the underlying issues. Last year, on May 3, ethnic clashes erupted, resulting in the tragic loss of at least 219 lives. These clashes were triggered by a 'Tribal Solidarity March' organized in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

In Manipur, the Meiteis make up approximately 53% of the population and primarily reside in the Imphal Valley, while Nagas and Kukis, collectively referred to as Tribals, constitute a little over 40% of the population and primarily inhabit the hill districts.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 14 Apr 2024, 07:49 AM IST
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