Tension erupts as Kuki, Meitei homes burnt in Imphal East

While the exact cause of fire was not known, a police official told The Hindu that it was not an accidental fire and appeared to be a “mischief.”

August 28, 2023 02:41 am | Updated 02:41 am IST - New Delhi

 Firefighters try to douse the fire after some unknown miscreants set ablaze in a house following ongoing ethnic violence in the State, in Imphal on August 27, 2023

Firefighters try to douse the fire after some unknown miscreants set ablaze in a house following ongoing ethnic violence in the State, in Imphal on August 27, 2023 | Photo Credit: ANI

Tension erupted in Imphal East on August 27 after a Kuki house caught fire engulfing few Meitei homes too.

While the exact cause of fire was not known, a police official told The Hindu that it was not an accidental fire and appeared to be a “mischief.”

Women and men came out on the street to protest as the police fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowd. 

Also read | Manipur government plans to supply essentials to tribal district

There are around 15 Kuki families still living in the New Lambulane area of Imphal East, a Meitei dominated area. It had a mixed population of Kukis, Nagas and Meitei, till the ethnic violence broke on May 3. The lane where the Kuki families are staying has a strong deployment of central security forces.

The official said that the fire started from an empty Kuki home and it soon spread to neighbouring houses, the flames reaching few Meitei homes too.

“The fire was extinguished in time, some Meitei homes were affected too. We are investigating the matter,” the official said. 

No arrests have been made yet.

Since the ethnic violence erupted on May 3, almost all Kuki-Zo people fled the valley and Meitei people fled from the hill districts fearing for their lives. There are more than 50,000 internally displaced people in Manipur due to the ongoing ethnic strife. More than 150 people have been killed. 

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