One killed as 'rioters' open unprovoked firing in Manipur's Kangpokpi

While the local army unit tweeted that "unconfirmed reports" indicated some casualties in the incident, official sources said one body had been recovered from the area and a few others could be seen lying on the ground

June 29, 2023 06:06 pm | Updated 06:58 pm IST - Imphal

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. File. (For Repersentational Purpose only)

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. File. (For Repersentational Purpose only) | Photo Credit: AP

One person was killed and a few others were injured when "rioters" opened firing without any provocation at Haraothel village in Kangpokpi district of Manipur on June 29 morning, leading to tension in the area.

While the local army unit tweeted that "unconfirmed reports" indicated some casualties in the incident, official sources said one body had been recovered from the area and a few others could be seen lying on the ground.

It was not immediately clear whether they were dead or injured as intermittent firing was still going on in the area, the official sources said.

Also read: Manipur — this is not a time for finger-pointing 

Giving details, the official Twitter handle of the army, operating in the region, said armed rioters opened unprovoked firing at 5.30 am.

"Own troops deployed in the area immediately mobilised to prevent escalation of situation. While enroute to the site, own columns drew effective fire from armed rioters," the official "Spear Corps" handle of the army said.

It said the troops "responded in a calibrated manner to prevent any collateral damage. Swift action by troops resulted in cessation of firing.

"Additional columns moved to the area. Unconfirmed reports indicate some casualties. Build up of large crowds in the area also reported. Situation being closely monitored and further details will follow," it said.

The area is located around 20 kms from capital city of Imphal. More than 100 people have lost their lives in the ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki communities in the northeastern state so far.

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. Meiteis account for about 53% 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.

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