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Violence in Manipur's Jiribam: Curfew imposed after over 70 Houses set on fire

Amidst serious tension in Manipur’s Jiribam district, adjoining Assam, more than 70 houses of a particular community have been burnt while additional security forces including Manipur police commandos were deployed in the area, officials said on Saturday.

Curfew was imposed in Jiribam and adjoining Tamenglong districts for an indefinite period after protests erupted over the killing of 59-year-old Soibam Saratkumar Singh at Jiribam on Thursday night by suspected 'armed attackers'.

A police official in Imphal said on Saturday that the houses of a particular community were burnt at Lamtai Khunou, Dibong Khunou, Nunkhal and Begra villages in the Jiribam district allegedly by 'armed attackers'.

More than 200 people, mostly belonging to the Meitei community, have taken shelter in a newly set up relief camp after violence broke out following the killing of Soibam Saratkumar Singh, who belongs to the Meitei community.

The police official said that the situation remained tense after local people organised massive protests following the recovery of the body of the victim on Thursday night with injuries and several cut marks.

After setting some abandoned structures on fire, local people staged massive protests. A section of protesters demanded the return of their licenced firearms in Jiribam. The weapons were deposited in the wake of the recent Lok Sabha elections.

Police resorted to a lathi charge to disperse the mob.

A joint control room comprising officials of Assam Rifles, Central Reserve Police Force, and Manipur Police has been set up in the Jiribam district for effective, smooth and fast flow of communication for controlling the situation and to bring back normalcy at the earliest.

A large contingent of security forces comprising state police and central forces have been deployed in both Jiribam and the adjacent Tamenglong district.

Bordering Assam, Jiribam is a mixed-populated district inhabited by Meiteis, Nagas, Kukis, Muslims and non-Manipuris and the district had so far largely remained unaffected by the ethnic violence which ravaged Manipur since May 3 last year.

The ethnic conflict between Meiteis and Kuki-Zomi in several districts of Manipur has so far claimed over 220 lives in both communities.

Over 1,500 people in both communities and over 70,000 people have been displaced from their homes and villages in the over-a-year-long ethnic violence.

The rioting also has left thousands of houses, government and non-government properties, and religious structures destroyed or damaged.

(Northeast, Northeast News)

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