Manipur violence: 175 killed, 96 unclaimed bodies, and 5,668 weapons lootedtext_fields
Imphal: In the ongoing violence in Manipur, which began on May 3, the state's police have reported 175 fatalities, 1,118 injuries, and 33 individuals missing. 96 unclaimed bodies are currently lying in morgues.
The state government released key statistics highlighting the devastating impact of the violence, which has persisted for over four months.
The data includes reports of at least 5,172 cases of arson, comprising the destruction of 4,786 houses and 386 religious sites, including 254 churches and 132 temples. 5,668 weapons were looted from the state's armoury since the onset of the violence, with security forces managing to recover 1,329 of them. Another 15,050 rounds of ammunition and 400 bombs were also recovered.
The security forces have taken action to destroy 360 illegal bunkers in the state, according to the data.
In an attempt to prevent violence between the Meitei and Kuki communities, barricades were set up between Phougakchao Ikhai and Kangvai villages, covering approximately a one-kilometre stretch along the Imphal-Churachandpur road. These barricades served as a boundary for a "buffer zone" between the hills and the valley, overseen by security forces, reported NDTV.
Simultaneously, the Manipur High Court has admitted a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the International Meiteis Forum (IMF). The PIL seeks to "quash" the fact-finding report published by the Editors' Guild of India on the ethnic violence in the state. It also requests directions to prohibit the use of the said report by any authority or agency investigating the conflict.
Manipur's population comprises Meiteis, who make up about 53% and mainly reside in the Imphal Valley. Tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40% and primarily reside in the hill districts.
The violence began with a 'Tribal Solidarity March' organised on May 3 in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe status, which escalated into a full-blown ethnic conflict, displacing thousands.