Manipur: Kuki Group Announces Bandh; Meitei Group Engages in Intense Firing in Imphal

Manipur: Kuki Group Announces Bandh; Meitei Group Engages in Intense Firing in Imphal

New Delhi - A serious conflict erupted in the heart of Imphal city on Wednesday evening, with reports of intense gunfire between a large armed group of Meitei individuals, numbering over 3,000, and the Manipur Rifles. According to eyewitnesses, the armed mob allegedly comprises members of the Meitei right-wing organization known as Arambai Tenggol. However, The Wire was unable to independently verify this claim.

Local residents reported that the armed mob had congregated at the palace compound of Leishemba Sanajaoba, who is both a BJP Rajya Sabha MP and a member of the Manipur royal family. Many of the individuals in the mob were reportedly armed.

Around 6:25 pm, the mob forcefully entered the Manipur Rifles premises, which is located in close proximity to the Kangla Fort. The reason for their intrusion, as reported, was their intent to seize weapons. Presently, heavy gunfire continues, and there have been unconfirmed reports of casualties. It has been heard that other Manipur Rifles stations have also been targeted for arms looting, but confirmation is pending.

Manipur Police fired several warning shots into the air on Wednesday to disperse a mob that had surrounded a police station near the Chief Minister's office in Imphal.

The Arambai Tenggol group, said to have close ties to Sanajaoba, has been accused of carrying out multiple attacks on the Kuki community in Imphal during the ethnic clashes that began in May. The immediate trigger for Tuesday evening's mob attack on state police stations appears to be the killing of a police officer from the Meitei community, allegedly by Kuki militants in Tengnoupal district a day prior.

One month ago, members of Arambai Tenggol gathered at the Kangla fort and pledged to "protect" Manipur.

At a cabinet meeting held in Imphal on Tuesday, it was stated that the police officer of SDPO rank hailed from Imphal's Marak Chingtham Leikai and was shot in the abdomen by Kuki militants in an "unprovoked firing" incident in Tengnoupal district's Moreh town. Two other Manipur police officers were also injured in a separate attack, allegedly by Kuki militants, in the same district, shortly after the SDPO's killing.

The district magistrate of Imphal East revoked the previously announced curfew relaxation in the district through an order issued at 6:15 pm. The curfew relaxation, initially scheduled to be from 5 am to 10 pm, was canceled.

In response to the increased security deployment in Moreh, the Kuki Students' Organisation has called for a complete 48-hour shutdown in Kuki-Zo areas starting midnight on November 1. The KSO has voiced their dissatisfaction, claiming that Home Minister Amit Shah had promised the removal of security forces in the area after his visit, but instead, their presence has only intensified.

In the ongoing violence in Manipur, the state police force faces accusations from the Kuki community of supporting the Meitei mobs.

The comments posted here are not from Cnews Live. Kindly refrain from using derogatory, personal, or obscene words in your comments.