Clashes Again In Manipur: Army, Paramilitary Forces Rush To Contain Violence; Curfew Called After Arson Reports
Clashes Again In Manipur: Army, Paramilitary Forces Rush To Contain Violence; Curfew Called After Arson ReportsArmy soldiers in Manipur

After a period of peace, fresh clashes broke out between the Meitei and Kuki communities over market space in Imphal, Manipur, prompting the deployment of army and paramilitary forces.

Reports of arson led to a curfew declaration in the area.

Ethnic clashes in Manipur have continued intermittently for over a month.

A protest broke out in the hill state earlier this month after tribal people held a march against the Meiteis' demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

The protest turned violent, resulting in over 70 fatalities, destruction of property, and displacement of thousands, who fled to safety in government shelters. The unrest lasted for over a week.

The clashes had followed tensions building up from Kuki villagers' eviction from forest land, which had led to several smaller protests.

The Meities, who make up 64 per cent of the population in Manipur, are currently only able to occupy 10 per cent of the land due to non-tribals being restricted from buying land in notified hill areas.

Being included in the ST category would give them the opportunity to purchase land in the hills, which has caused significant tension with the tribals, who oppose the idea.

The Kukis claim that the BJP-led government of Chief Minister N Biren Singh has been deliberately targeting them, with the intention of expelling them from their homes in the hills and the forests.

Furthermore, they have accused the state of using the pretext of the war on drugs as a cover for eviction.

Army and paramilitary forces are camped in the state, patrolling regularly and helping civilians.

Home Minister Amit Shah has promised action against the perpetrators of violence and met with representatives from both groups.

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