Two persons were killed in a gunfight between rival factions in a fresh round of violence in Manipur’s Kangpokpi district on Monday. The incident took place between Haraothel and Kobsha villages, police said. A personnel from the India Reserve Batallion (IRB) and his driver were shot dead in the gunfight.
In response to the violence, a tribal organisation has claimed that the victims were members of the Kuki-Zo community. Condemning the “unprovoked attack” on the Kuki-Zo community, the Kangpokpi-based Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU) enforced an “emergency shutdown” across Kangpokpi district as a sign of protest.
In a meeting called in the aftermath of the attack, the COTU reiterated its demand for the establishment of a separate administrative body for tribal communities in Manipur.
Additional forces have been deployed in the area of the attack and a search is underway to arrest those involved in the violence.
The northeastern state has been embroiled in ethnic clashes between the Meitei and Kuki communities, following the Meitei’s demand for Scheduled Tribes (ST) status. The violence has claimed the lives of hundreds while displacing thousands.