Manipur: Villagers burn Kuki militant camp after attacks on abandoned houses
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Manipur: Villagers burn Kuki militant camp after attacks on abandoned houses

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Irate villagers set ablaze an abandoned camp at Sugnu in Manipur’s Kakching district, where militants from the United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF) were staying after signing a peace accord with the government, police said on Monday (June 5).

The villagers were venting their anger after militants burnt down at least 100 abandoned houses, including the residence of Sugnu Congress MLA K Ranjit at Serou in Kakching district on Saturday midnight (June 3).

Also read: Manipur violence: Govt sets up 3-member panel to probe recent incidents

There had been almost round-the-clock exchange of fire between militants and security forces for the last two days, the police said.

Gun battle between security forces and militants

On Sunday (June 4) before the arson attack, combined forces of state police including the India Reserve Battalion and Border Security Force along with village volunteers had fought a gun battle with militants at the Nazareth camp which led to the militants fleeing their camp.

The villagers later on Sunday night (June 4) torched the camp, which also has training facilities for newly-recruited Kuki militants.

A fierce exchange of fire was also reported from Phayeng in Imphal West district on Sunday (June 4) even as Kuki militants set a sawmill on fire. In another development, unknown persons torched a few houses at Langol in Imphal West district on Sunday (June 4), police said.

37,450 people in 272 relief camps

At least 98 people lost their lives and 310 others were injured in the ethnic violence in Manipur that broke out a month ago. A total of 37,450 people are currently sheltered in 272 relief camps.

Clashes first broke out on May 3 after a Tribal Solidarity March was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

Also read: Shah: Govt committed to restoring peace in Manipur, ensuring return of displaced people

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals Nagas and Kukis constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.

Around 10,000 Army and Assam Rifles personnel have been deployed in the state to bring back peace.

(With inputs from agencies)

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