The ethnic clashes in Manipur that began last month have resulted in the loss of at least 98 lives and leaving over 300 people injured. The clashes ensued following a Tribal Solidarity March held in 10 districts on May 3, which was organized to express opposition to the Meitei community's request for Scheduled Tribe (ST) classification.
Violence between Meiteis and Kukis
Following that, intense violence has been ongoing in various areas of the state. This violence stemmed from the preceding unrest concerning the eviction of Kuki villagers from forest land reserved for them, which triggered a sequence of smaller protests.
The Meitei community, making up approximately 53 percent of Manipur's population, primarily resides in the Imphal Valley. On the other hand, the tribal groups, namely Nagas and Kukis, account for around 40 percent of the population and inhabit the hill districts.
Curfew relaxation in several district
Nevertheless, the situation in Manipur appears to have made progress, and the curfew imposed following the outbreak of violence has been partially lifted in several districts. In specific areas such as Imphal West, Imphal East, and Bishnupur, the curfew has been relaxed for a duration of 12 hours.
In Jiribam, the curfew restrictions have been eased for a period of 8 hours, specifically from 8 am to 4 pm. Similarly, Thoubal and Kakching districts will observe a curfew relaxation period of 7 hours, commencing from 5 am and concluding at 12 pm. Churachandpur and Chandel districts will enjoy a curfew relaxation window of 10 hours, starting from 5 am and ending at 3 pm.
Tengnoupal district will experience an 8-hour relaxation period, spanning from 6 am to 2 pm, while Kangpokpi district will have an extended relaxation period of 11 hours, occurring between 6 am and 5 pm. Pherzawl district will have the longest curfew relaxation period, lasting 12 hours from 6 am to 6 pm.
Meanwhile, Tamenglong, Noney, Senapati, Ukhrul, and Kamjong districts will not have any curfew in effect, indicating a return to normal conditions in those areas.
Home minister announces judicial investigation
Official reports indicate that over 4,000 incidents of arson have been documented since violence erupted in Manipur. The clashes between the Meitei and Kuki communities resulted in the destruction of properties worth millions and the displacement of thousands of individuals.
Following his four-day visit to the state plagued by violence, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced yesterday that a judicial investigation led by a retired chief justice of the high court will be established to inquire into the clashes.
Regarding the roots of the conflicts that shook Manipur, Amit Shah stated that the ethnic violence initiated following a prompt request from the Manipur High Court on April 29, seeking the state government's opinion on granting Scheduled Tribe status to a particular community.