1 Killed, 4 Injured In Gunfight Between Two Armed Groups In Manipur

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1 Killed, 4 Injured In Gunfight Between Two Armed Groups In Manipur

Peace is Manipur is still elusive eight months since ethnic violence broke out (File)

Imphal:

A village defence volunteer was killed, and four others were injured in a gunfight between two armed groups in Manipur today.

The police said the gunfight broke out at a location that lies between the eastern periphery of the state capital Imphal and Kangpokpi district, 40 km apart.

The injured people were taken to a hospital in Imphal.

The two rival armed groups retreated after security forces rushed to the area, sources said.

One of the injured people was hit by a bomb shrapnel on the face, while another was hit in the thigh, a police officer said.

Manipur has not fully recovered from the ethnic violence that broke out in May 2023 between the hill-majority Kuki-Zo tribes and the valley-majority Meiteis over disagreements on land, resources, political representation, and affirmative action policies.

The state government and the Centre also face questions over why the Manipur crisis has been dragging on for eight months, despite the presence of at least 60,000 central security forces.

The Kuki-Zo group Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF) in a statement said it held a public consultation programme in Churachandpur and discussed the way forward of their “movement”.

The ITLF said the discussions included how to put pressure on the Centre to act on Manipur, how to strengthen their movement, as well as the status of the suspension of operations (SoO) agreement and what the 10 Kuki-Zo MLAs should do. Manipur has a 60-member assembly.

The SoO is a tripartite agreement signed between 25 Kuki insurgent groups, the Centre, and the state government, whose ground rules include insurgents to be kept at designated camps with their weapons in locked storage.

Ever since violence broke out in May last year, there have been allegations that full attendance at many of the SoO camps has not been observed.

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