Latest official figures reveal that as many as 175 people have lost their lives, with 1,108 others suffering injuries...
Digital Desk: As Manipur grapples with a devastating wave of ethnic strife that has rocked the state since early May, the latest official figures reveal that as many as 175 people have lost their lives, with 1,108 others suffering injuries. Additionally, 32 individuals remain unaccounted for in the wake of the violence. Authorities also reported that 4,786 houses were set ablaze, and 386 religious structures were vandalized during the ongoing unrest.
In a press conference held in Imphal, IGP (Operations) I.K. Muivah addressed the situation, stating, "In this challenging time that Manipur is in, we can reassure the public that the police, central forces, and the civil administration are trying round-the-clock to bring normalcy back." Muivah further disclosed that 1,359 firearms and 15,050 pieces of ammunition, which were reportedly lost during the violence, had been recovered.
The crisis has not been without its toll on law enforcement agencies, with a substantial number of police weapons and ammunition allegedly looted by rioters during the unrest. Muivah went on to report that 5,172 cases of arson had been recorded, along with the shocking vandalism of 386 religious structures, comprising 254 churches and 132 temples.
"Security barricades from Phougakchao Ikhai in Bishnupur district to Kangvai in Churachandpur district have been removed, while security has been provided on national highways," added Muivah, indicating a concerted effort to restore order.
IGP (Administration) K. Jayanta disclosed that of the 175 casualties, nine remained unidentified. "Seventy-nine of the bodies have been claimed, while 96 remain unclaimed," Jayanta explained, outlining the grim reality of the situation. Hospitals in Imphal and Churachandpur are struggling to manage the influx of casualties.
The authorities have also taken action against those involved, with Jayanta revealing that 9,332 cases have been registered, resulting in the arrest of 325 individuals.
Ethnic tensions erupted on May 3 when a 'Tribal Solidarity March' protested against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. Meiteis, constituting about 53 percent of Manipur's population and residing mainly in the Imphal Valley, came into conflict with tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, who makeup 40 percent of the population and primarily reside in the hill districts. The situation remains highly sensitive, and efforts are ongoing to bring peace and stability to the region.