(NewsReady.com) – In May, violence struck in Manipur, India, killing more than 80 people and displacing thousands. The majority of the people who were killed were reportedly Christians. The conflict has continued into June.
The violence broke out on May 3 in response to protests by mostly Christian tribal communities, including 50,000 Kukis, against the Meitei Hindu majority. The Kukis are against the possibility of the Meiteis receiving a special status that would allow them access to things like farming on forest lands, a quote for government jobs, educational and health facilities, affordable bank loans, and other benefits. The Kukis argue the Meiteis are already relatively wealthy and don’t deserve special treatment.
When the Kukis began protesting, militants who are part of the Meitei tribe began attacking. On June 14, clashes killed at least nine people and homes were torched. The federal minister’s house was also set on fire. He’s reportedly part of the Meitei tribe.
The Indian government imposed a curfew on Manipur, and the military began patroling the streets. On June 18, Diana Devi, a government official, said the country was relaxing the curfew. Residents are now allowed to leave their homes between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. so they can buy medicine, food, and other essentials.
Authorities in India have announced that they are relaxing the curfew in Manipur, a north-east state that has been hit by civil unrest for the past 45 days. https://t.co/it0ii2WhTC
— Erudite Risk (@EruditeRisk) June 19, 2023
Leaders are calling on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take action to stop the fighting. They want him to release government funds to help those who are displaced. Nimaichand Luwang, a member of the opposition party, spoke out and said they think that if Modi were to step up and take action, the violence would stop within a day.
Security forces have reportedly been searching for weapons stolen from police stations in areas where the clashes were taking place. More than 1,000 guns and 7,500 rounds of ammo were looted. Police have recovered roughly half of the weapons. Troops have used tear gas and other non-lethal methods to restore the peace.
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